20You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world. So why do you keep on following rules of the world, such as, 21"Don't handle, don't eat, don't touch." 22Such rules are mere human teaching about things that are gone as soon as we use them. 23These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline. But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thoughts and desires.
The apostle Paul lets the Colossians know the world does not hold them captive to evil. The rules men created trying to show discipline does not have to regulate their lives because they are free with Christ. These rules actually can be put into practice, but they become repetition and have no effect in actually stopping sin in a person’s life. It is Christ alone who frees us from sin.
A man was standing along side the highway one day observing two highway department workers. One of the workers would dig a hole. Then when he was finished the other worker would wait for a little while and then he would start filling in the hole the worker had just dug. This routine went on for a little while until the man observing just could not stand the curiosity any longer. He walked over and asked, “Why are you digging the hole, and why does he fill it up?” The first man replied, “Oh, you see, the guy who plants the trees is out sick today.” Sometimes people do things out of habit and repetition and they are not even thinking about what they are trying to accomplish. Paul was speaking to such things. People were following religious rules, but did not understand the sins they were trying to conquer in their lives. Do you understand what it is God requires from you? Maybe you are being too hard on yourself? Maybe you need to spend more time in His word to have a fuller understanding of God’s desires? Pray and spend time with God that you might know what He desires. Pray that God may reveal what sin you need to turn over to Him. Praise Him always for His love and mercy.