Drive-by Scripture: Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians, chapter 3, verse 17)

For the Christians among my readership, who are probably about the only ones for whom today’s scriptural quote has any real meaning, I don’ t really need to explain this one. It’s pretty clear.


…let me just say to a certain subset of Christians, please, please, please, stop saying “in Jesus’ name” so damn much. Among some Christians, I hear so many proclamations and prayers and statements in church following by “in Jesus’ name.”

I’m pretty sure Jesus knows. And God the Father, too. Frankly, if you have to say it all the time, I worry that you feel like you need a reminder of something that should be obvious.

Or you’re getting into rote repetition and ritual instead of truly meaning and even hearing what you are saying.

Or you’re just relying on a verbal crutch.

None of those things are all that fantastic. So, I’m not saying you can’t say “in Jesus’ name.

I’m just saying use it more sparingly. Like salt. Let’s not overdo things, OK? Otherwise, we start to sound like morons.

4 thoughts on “Drive-by Scripture: Colossians 3:17

  1. Aro

    Pretty sure this habit is born of the passage in the Gospel where Jesus tells the disciples “Ask God anything in my name, and I will do it”

    Some take this to mean we should ask God for a pink cadillac, and as long as we have faith and ask in Jesus’ name, we’ll get a pink cadillac.

    I think Oswald Chambers has the right take on this though. Asking in Jesus’ name also means to be in line with Jesus’ aim. What would Christ want in this situation? And pray along these lines. Chambers says that we can be so identified with Christ that we do this naturally.

  2. Aro

    And by the way, I wrote a piece on my blog about racism I think you might like, since that’s like the soup-de-jour over here.

  3. 32B

    I usually notice heavy “in Jesus’ name” use during prayers and it does sound very repetitive, rehearsed, almost like a robot going through a mundane routine again. When I am sitting there knowing the next line or praying their prayer with them then something is seriously wrong and no amount of “in Jesus’ name” will help.

  4. Deacon Blue

    Yeah, Aro and 32B…I think the same thing that people seem to assume if they say “Jesus” enough, the cosmic ATM will open wide for them. Without paying attention to the fact that if we’re asking for the wrong things and for the wrong reasons, we certainly aren’t going to be getting them. At least not from God.

    Aro, I’ll check out your post…race issues certainly have been figuring more prominently here lately for a variety of reasons…


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