Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
How God has changed our lives should express itself in our relationships with others and how we treat them.
Many of us begin each new year by setting resolutions. We resolve to change something in our lives, generally to improve ourselves. Sadly, as I think we’ve all experienced, it doesn’t do any good to just say we’re going to change. We have to actually change what we are doing or how we are doing something in order for a resolution to have any real meaning.
In this letter to the Colossians, Paul is reminding us that, as believers in the salvation of Christ, we have been chosen by God to be His children. That is a major change in our lives. And that change should show through in how we behave.
In the verses preceding vs. 12-14, we’re reminded to “put to death” our earthly nature — impurity, greed, immorality, anger, rage, and more. But it’s not enough to stop acting in these evil ways. Just stopping this type of behavior doesn’t mark us as God’s own. We need to show that God has changed our lives by actively improving our relationships with fellow believers. We’ll be known as God’s people by our love for one another — so we must show that love.
How do you actively show your love for fellow believers? The virtues in these verses can help you be certain that your love is evident.
– Are you compassionate to others in their difficulties?
– Do you treat others kindly?
– Do you think more highly of others than yourself?
– Are you considerate of others’ feelings?
– Are you patient with others as they grow in their faith?
– Can you forgive others as you have been forgiven by God?
Father God, You have chosen me to be a part of Your chosen people, with a mercy I don’t deserve. I need Your help to leave behind the evil ways this world tempts me to. But I also need Your help to actively put on love, and treat others in ways that show Your love. May I grow daily in becoming more like Christ and more worthy to be Your child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Submitted by: Dianne Novak