Mixed Metaphors

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Col 2:6&7 NLT

There were two major complaints from the editor of my manuscript, Pack Your Baggage, Honey, We’re Moving to Paris!  The first was misplaced commas.  But in my defense, some comma rules changed somewhere between my school days and my teaching school days.  One of those rules was regarding commas when writing a list.

The second most noticeable complaint was my tendency to use mixed metaphors.  A common definition of a mixed metaphor is “a succession of incongruous or ludicrous comparisons. Also known—playfully—as a mixaphor.”  I take great comfort that I am not alone in this problem.  Many of the writers of the Bible did the same.  

Paul was one of the notable Scripture writers who used mixed metaphors.  Obviously, he and I did not have the same persnickety editor. 

Colossians 2:6&7 is one case where a mixed metaphor is employed.  Not only does Paul write about our need to let our roots grow down into Christ, but he writes, let your life be built on him (Jesus).  Most definitely creating a mixaphor!

Paul wanted the people of Colossae to be firmly grounded in their faith.  He wanted them to grow so deeply in Christ that when the strong, tumultuous winds came- they were firmly planted in their Savior.  Today, we are seeing some major winds blowing through.  Both political and societal changes are upending our norms but the believer who is deeply rooted in Christ will still be firmly standing on truth no matter how hard the winds blow.  We may at times be caused to sway a bit in the winds- but we will not be blown over.  Those roots hidden deeply in Christ are not always seen but the strength they exhibit is most certainly visible.  

Paul knew that having strong roots was imperative for the believer but he also wanted to remind the believer that being built up was important as well.  There is a part of every believer that is seen- the part which is being built up. In First Peter 2:5, Peter writes that believers are living stones being built up as a spiritual house for a Holy priesthood.  Stone laid upon stone eventually makes a strong house- especially when the foundation is Christ himself.

So today, as you make your way thru the day, remember growth should be occurring.  Growth rooting you more deeply in Christ and growth building you up in him.  None of this growth comes from osmosis.  Take time to pray, to read from God’s word and then go out and walk in line with the Spirit.  

 Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. Rick Warren

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