to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
Worthy – Yesterday, did you wrestle with Paul’s prayer for your filled-to-the-brim understanding of God’s will? Did you see that “our daily bread” includes every word that proceeds from the mouth of God? Are you willing to eat one day at a time and be completely satisfied? If you discovered contentment in daily obedience, then you also discovered the axiom of the normal Christian life. It is found in this verse, the summary of the purpose of Paul’s prayer.
The Greek is literally, “walking around worthily.” Axios is the Greek adverb translated “worthily.” Behind the word is an image of the balance scales, measuring the value of something by comparing it to a standard. The standard on this scale is Jesus, the Lord. Your “walking around” is balanced against His “walking around.” It is the daily action of life, one step at a time, that reveals the smallest degree to total commitment. If Jesus lived the life of daily bread, learning obedience through suffering, how can we possibly imagine that we will not have to do the same? Here is the axiom of the Christian: One day at a time, walking in balance with the Lord.
We should know that axios is not the same as timios (see 1 Peter 1:7 or Hebrews 13:4). Axios is inherent value. It is quality throughout, the essential worth of something. It is not the same as honor (timios) because honor is attributed value. The axiom of the Christian is to be in unity with the Lord, homogenized into Jesus so that there is no discernable difference between His walking and my walking. As a result, God attributes honor to me just as He does to His obedient Son. This is why Paul qualifies his statement with “fully pleasing to him.” When axios is the essential property of your life, God is pleased and the fruit of good works automatically follows. The axiom concentrates our efforts on axios, not on the production of the good works. Good works are simply the inevitable effect of the axios cause.
So many times we get it backwards. First, we think that God is pleased with our good works. Wrong! God is pleased with our walking around worthily. The good works are just the outward effects. Without axios, good works mean nothing. With axios, God is able to produce good works, His good works, through us.
Secondly, we think that being worthy of the Lord is strictly an internal operation. Wrong again! All axios is associated with the behavior of walking around. I am not going to learn axios in a cloistered tower, not can I exhibit the homogenized Christ in my private enclave. I have to be out, walking around. Axios is a marketplace phenomenon.
The axiom is axios. Find Jesus walking around and tag along. Simple, huh? What else did He mean when He said, “Come after Me”?