Colossians 4:7-18

Week Nine | "Representatives" | "All That Matters"

Donna Gaines is the wife of Pastor Steve Gaines, a teacher, author of four books, and editor of A Daily Women’s Devotional.
Donna Gaines
April 28, 2022
March 29, 2022

During Week Nine of "All That Matters," a study with Bellevue Women, Donna Gaines teaches on the topic of "Representatives" out of Colossians 4:7-18.

Week 9—Representatives

Colossians 4:7-18

I. The Delivery of the Letter

Tychicus and Onesimus

II. Greetings from Rome –

Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, (Jews)
Epaphras, Luke (the doctor) and Demas (Gentiles)

III. Greetings to those at Colossae –

Nympha, Archippus

“See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

Ephesians 2:10

2 Timothy 1:2-7

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Business Philosopher, Jim Rohn (

“A healthy group identity is characterized by joy. People like belonging to the group. Team members look forward to being together. Members know that no matter what problems arise, the group will face them together. Individuals aren’t going to be left alone in their distress. In fact, groups with a healthy identity shine brightest in times of trouble. There is never any question that they are in this together and no one is going to be left behind” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (pp. 92-93). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

“Paul wrote that we are complete in Christ. We have the mind of Christ. We have become the righteousness of God. Christ lives in us who have been united with Him in His death and resurrection. It made sense that the qualities of Christ have been born in us through the Holy Spirit. They are present but dormant, and ready to be seen and called out” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (p. 141). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

Evaluate Your Spiritual Maturity

1. Infant

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

“Infants don’t know how to take care of themselves. But they are really good at letting you know they are upset. They whimper and whine and wail in all sorts of ways and all types of circumstances. It is up to you to figure out what is wrong and take care of it. We expect this behavior from babies...It is the same way with grown-ups who are stuck at infant-level maturity. You can be in your seventies and still have the emotional capacity and relational skills of an infant” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (p. 180). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

Infants will let you know when a need has not been met – feed me, change me, play with me. What does it look like in an adult? Most often it is exposed through pouting, outbursts of anger, and viewing all of life through a narcissistic lens.

2. Child

“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20).

“Children have the ability to tell you what is wrong. What they lack is the ability to take care of you and themselves at the same time. So, they usually default to taking care of themselves, whether you get taken care of or not” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (p. 181). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

People stuck in the child phase of emotional maturity are prone to addictions and harmful actions.

“Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. The gravitational pull toward your old negative thoughts will likely be stronger than you can imagine. Resist those lies. Keep renewing your mind with God’s truth, and it will become true of you” (Groeschel, Craig. Winning the War in Your Mind (p. 92). Zondervan. Kindle Edition).

Children don’t have self-control. They want one more snack or dessert. There is a big difference in an infant’s cry and a toddler or child’s temper tantrum when they don’t get their way.

3. Adult

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:11-13).

“Adults know how to keep relationships bigger than problems, act like themselves in a group, and take care of the needs of two people at the same time. They have been practicing returning to joy from upset emotions for a while. Because of these skills, the adult is emotionally stable and relationally sophisticated enough to stay relational in the face of difficulty. You will rarely, if ever, see an adult turn to addictive behavior to cope with their stress” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (p. 181). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

“The nature of joy is to overflow” (Paige Brown). “Our cup runneth over!”

4. Parent

“Those with parent-level maturity are able to model and teach the skills needed to thrive in life to the next generation. This is what Paul said was missing from the Corinthian church. They didn’t have anyone with parent-level spiritual or emotional maturity” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (p. 182). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

Parents sacrifice for their children all the time. They meet their needs first. But they also know how to say no and to set boundaries. Your schedule will be interrupted by others. It is never convenient to discipline your toddler or answer the unending questions of the day.

Discipleship is spiritual parenting. It requires patience and perseverance. It also requires flexibility – sometimes your schedule will be interrupted. God does not give up on us!

5. Elder

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

“When parents have finished raising their own children, they are ready to take on the needs of the community. They begin to notice people in their group who don’t have parents, or who at least don’t have good parents. They will tend to take these people under their wing and include them as part of ‘their people.’ This gives those who need ‘re-parenting’ a place to belong and someone to begin mentoring them in the skills they missed along the way” (Warner, Marcus; Wilder, Jim. Rare Leadership (p. 183). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition).

Grandparents – lavishing love, joy and gifts on kids because they understand how quickly life passes and they want to celebrate all of life. They are more given to grace and encouragement.

Don’t think you have nothing to give. You have time and the experience that our younger families and singles need. Where are you serving? What works are you involved in?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
~ Ephesians 2:10