The Amplified Version
October 7, 2021
Do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken]. Colossians 3:21 AMP
All too often, reading the Bible doesn’t do us any good. Some of us don’t understand it. Some of us are so used to it that we assume we know everything it means, and we just breeze through it. Some of us see it as a rule book and only take anything seriously if we or someone else is “breaking the rules” and we want to bring their behavior into line.
For all of us, the Amplified Bible will widen our eyes a little bit and help us see new dimensions to truth that might have been sliding past us. The first offering of Colossians 3:21 is from the well-known King James Version. It’s very simple, written in a letter by a man who knew these people personally. He was actually “amplifying” what this meant in his own life. For us, we can simply read it and toss it off if we’re a mother instead of a father, or quickly say, “I don’t provoke my kids” and move on, feeling exonerated.
But the Amplified version gets specific. Now it is amplified and expanded on for our culture today, much as Paul amplified and expanded on the Law and Prophets for a new age. There’s no way you can easily pass by this explanation of what it might mean to provoke your children: Do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness]. If you have a sincere desire to raise your children well, that gives you pause. You ask yourself, “Am I missing anything?”
There’s more. “Lest they be discouraged” doesn’t seem so bad. You win some and lose some no matter who you are, right? Paul would never have let that be the interpretation of his letter in person. His entire life and messages through other letters tell us about his tender care for people. So the Amplified version helps us: …so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken]. Oh my! That changes everything! Who wants to be the cause of their children losing heart, losing motivation, and living with a broken spirit?
Here’s another thought: The New Testament leaders were amplifying Jesus to their recipients. They were helping them understand through their words and lives what following Jesus looks like. YOUR life should be the Amplified version of the Word, Jesus made flesh, to your family.
- Jesus, may my life be an accurate and understandable version of Your love and life.