Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:5-8, NKJ)
When I first married my wife, she put me to work in the kitchen. I guess I was probably getting on her nerves waiting around for supper, so she handed me a square-headed hammer and said, “Here, pound out this chicken breast.”
In need of a good pounding
Since banging on things comes natural to a guy, I started whamming and slamming that odd-looking hammer all over the piece of meat. The face of the hammer head had raised points on it (somewhere between the waffle face of a roofing hammer and the cleats on a baseball shoe). I noticed a difference between what happened when this hammer struck what would soon be chicken cordon bleu and my thumb.
I have missed with a hammer before. In fact, once I was pounding a stake down with a framing hammer and missed, bringing the full force of that cold steel down on my fist. The meat in my hand did not respond like the meat on the cutting board. The hammer blow to my hand caused blood vessels to rupture and muscle to tear. It created a nasty looking bruise. Why did the one meat grow softer with pounding and the other was destroyed by it? Because one was alive and the other dead.
Christians are dead meat
Has someone hurt your feelings? Does your pride get wounded? It would not, if it was dead. Dead pride cannot feel insults. Dead pride only becomes more considerate and humble when others lie behind its back. Dead pride grows more considerate and loving even when others prove more hateful.
Too many of us let personal conflict bruise our self-worth or hinder us from participation in the church. A living ego will cause a person to draw back and wish to attack the one who brought the hammer down. A godly person will only become more gentle and considerate when co-workers turn against him, children disappoint her, or a boss passes him up for a promotion.
Who hammers on you?
Too many men nurse grudges against their wives (or ex-wives). It is time to die to that fight. Too many women live in distrust and suspicion of their husbands who have failed in the past. It is time to let it go and move on in the liberty Christ set you free to enjoy (Galatians 5:1). If your pride still lives, it will fight and argue. When we get rid of the thin skin, we will not have hurt feelings to nurse.
Too many believers hold resentment against their parents, a pastor, an old boss, a family member, or others they feel have hurt them. How much more enjoyable life would be if we would die to that self-image instead of killing for it. Jesus Christ let His beatings move Him to the point of forgiveness. He was already “dead” before they crucified Him.
Dead meat takes a beating and only becomes more tender. Live meat falls to pieces, screams in pain, and looks for a way to retaliate. Your pride died with Christ on the cross. Let Him soften you with each blow life brings.