Devotional & Reflection

Week 1, November 2002

Colossians 3:2 - Letting Go
By Sio S K, Civil Servant and Servant of God

Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

It was a long, bright red scarf, with two white stripes and the words "Bayern Munich" emblazoned in the centre. I wasn't a fan of the football club, having little idea about the sports. I bought the scarf at the Munich Olympics Stadium at the urging of a friend who brought me there to watch a football match. For many years since then, I had taken it with me each time I went on a winter trip. Then I lost it in Beijing last November.

My heart ached over the loss of the scarf. I regretted being careless and wished dearly I had my scarf back. It held treasured memories of my four months' stay in Munich. It reminded me of my friend who had watched over me there.

I kept thinking of my scarf, till one day, the thought occurred to me - if I can't let go of a scarf, how can I let go of the things in this world? How can I receive the blessings of the things above if I cannot let go of the things below?

Jesus' disciples let go of all they had to follow him. Peter, James, John and others left their families and a livelihood in fishing to be with Jesus. In one of Jesus' parables, the man who found a hidden treasure in a field let go of everything he had to buy the field. In another parable, a merchant let go of everything he had to possess a pearl of great value.

Letting go is necessary, so we can empty ourselves of the old to receive the new. When we are full of old hurts and fears, there is no room for new joys and pleasures. In a recent discussion with a friend who was weighed down by emotional baggage accumulated over the years, I wondered whether her letting go of the encumbrances of her heart and mind would help her cope with the many changes that overwhelm her now.

There is a cost in letting go. We may suffer separation anxiety when we no longer have the comfort of the life, the things, the people we are used to. We risk a little of our heart dying, for nothing may replace that which we treasure but choose to release. When we let go and leave our comfort zone to venture into unfamiliar ground, we may encounter bumps of all kinds and get bruised along the way.

Shall we then hold on to all things? If we did, we may miss the greater blessings that await us. And for as long as we do not let go of our encumbrance, it takes control of a part of us. Let us choose to surrender control to our Lord, to empty ourselves of the hindrances in our lives, so that we may live more fruitfully, for His glory.

1. Is there any anything in your life that you should let go in order to receive the spiritual blessings of the Lord?
2. What would it cost you to follow after Christ?
3. How does setting your mind on the things of the Lord help you to free yourself from worldly encumbrances?

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