When the Bible says to “mortify your members” it does not mean to embarrass your peers. The appropriate understanding, rather, as provided to us through the Collins English Dictionary, is to practice “subduing or bringing under control through self-denial.” Also, “members” does not refer to other people but, instead, the members of one’s own body. In good ole plain English, this boils down to the need for us to practice a little self control. This brings us to our key text coming out of Colossians 3:5 — 7 (KJV). The Word of the Lord reads:
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Apostle Paul, the author of this letter to the people of Colosse, proceeds to share with his readers — both present and of old — a few key areas in which it is important for us to subdue our desires:
1.) Fornication: Consensual sex outside of wedlock.
2.) Uncleanness: Lacking moral or spiritual cleanliness. When we fill our minds with more secular things and ideas than we fill up on the Word of God, we clutter our spirits.
3.) Inordinate Affection: Immoderate, irregular, or disordered love interests.
4.) Evil Concupiscence: Strong sexual desire. The added descriptor of “evil” indicates strong sexual desire to those who we are not wed to. It’s totally okay to love the one God gave you in marriage.
5.) Covetousness/Idolatry: longing for the property of another person. The reason Apostle Paul adds “which is idolatry” is because desiring the possessions of others can very easily fester into the unhealthy worshiping of earthly goods rather than God.
If you already have these areas of self control mastered, great! If not, it’s time to get to work. With God, nothing is impossible.
Have a blessed day!
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