If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:1-11 [ESV]
I’m not sure anyone has anything to hide anymore these days. A trip to the beach reveals more than I want to see. A walk downtown confronts my senses in ways too many to count. A perusal through social media posts brings new encounters with people’s leanings of all kinds. Everyone seems to let it all hang out. Dirty laundry. Politically-incorrect ideas. Politically-correct opinions. Announcements of deviant lifestyles. Pronouncements of all kinds. Displays of every sort. Everyone seems to say, “This is me! Deal with it.”
But there is a potential lie behind all these expressions. Seems to me that none of them come from a humble spirit, born of accountability to God. So many in-your-face comments are godless at best, and blasphemous at worst. The lie is that we have nothing to be proud of and if we act otherwise, we’re on perilously dangerous ground. Confession is one thing. Appropriate. Godly. Born of humility. Pride is quite another.
I’m not certain what the people of Colossae were lying about. In the context of these verses it might have been their connection to certain groups or classes of people. Paul says none of that matters. If we’re in Christ human distinctions are no more. So don’t put on airs. It could also be that they were lying about secret associations with certain of those people.
In any case – for them 2000 years ago, and for us today – we’re called to truth-telling, and truth living. We need never pretend. We must not deceive ourselves, but confess our sins, and acknowledge our need for our Savior. When we do confess, God promises to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That’s why we must never boast in anything other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Cf. Galatians 6:14) And that’s no lie.