I’ve sat under a few preachers who appear to look right into your soul as they preach – eye-contact, for a whole minute, with such an intense look that the minute feels like eternity. That is what God does for our souls in passages like Colossians 3:18 – 4:1 (and many other passages, E.g. Ephesians 5 – 6, Titus 2, etc.).
Colossians 3:18, “Wives”
Colossians 3:19 “Husbands”
Colossians 3:20 “Children”
Colossians 3:21 “Fathers”
Colossians 3:22 “Slaves”
Colossians 4:1 “Masters”
Very, very specific. Almost everybody on this planet wants to be “spiritual”, but almost nobody on this planet like this degree of finger-pointing.
The general calls in Scripture to the godliness of true spirituality are convicting enough, why then does God have Paul point his finger so directly at the subgroups in the Colossian church? The reason why such specific instructions are given, as direct and counter-cultural as they might be for us, is because spirituality is ultimately proven in your closest relationships.
If there is no Christ-like godliness in your closest and most common relationships, then there cannot be true spirituality in the rest of you. A moving song on Sunday is not true spirituality – faithfulness in marriage, however, might speak volumes of the character of a Christian. A perfect outline of Colossians is not true spirituality – but consistent godliness in parenting affirms that Christ is at work in a man and his children. A Bible-debate about Israel and the End Times is not true spirituality either – but a cheerful and diligent attitude at work speaks volumes about your loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Your closest family and work relationships are not the starting point of godliness, but your closest family and work relationships are the ultimate testing ground for how true the spirituality you claim really is.
Listen to how one writer put it:
True spirituality deals with “real life.” The false teachers promoted ideas which made spirituality the possession of the special few who tapped into “higher” knowledge, engaged in mystical experiences, or conformed to a code of rules. Paul points believers in another direction. Spirituality is nothing grand, romantic, or impossible. It is submitting to the supremacy of Christ which will transform our character and revolutionize our relationships. The arena of relationships is our best testing ground for spiritual authenticity” [adapted from Max Anders, HNTC, Col 3:18.]
That is why God often points His finger directly at us, pressing His Truth upon our lives.