Recently, I was finishing up a Bible study on Colossians and the last couple of days the teacher had us rewrite the entire book of Colossians by hand. It has been a great experience!! During the final day this is a portion of what I wrote: 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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Three little verses in a tiny book at the end of the Bible. A quick little command from Paul through the power of the Holy Spirit. 54 words that we have all read and maybe even memorized. Four sentences that if we applied to our moment by moment living would transform every relationship in our lives.
How does this look in day to day living?
1. When giving criticism, we need to show compassion, kindness and gentleness. 2. If someone uses a tone or words that seem demeaning, we need to bear with him or her and forgive as we have been forgiven. 3. But above all that put on love. Remember that our spouse loves us; our children love us; our friends love us; we love our spouses, children and friends. If this is not true then we need to start praying for it and acting like it is true.
The writer of the study said this, “The ultimate witness to the world is how members of the body of Christ love one another.” May we be amazing witnesses!
But before we think that this is just some big love fest – look what Paul said just one verse later:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (v. 16)
The Word of God has to be in us deeply! (How are you doing in your quiet times, my friends?)
As the Word dwells richly, we will need to teach (to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, to impart instruction, instill doctrine into one) and we will need to admonish (to caution, advise, or counsel against something; to reprove or scold, especially in a mild and good-willed manner; or to urge to a duty, remind) one another. But then we wrap it all up with the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in our hearts to God. This is why church fellowship and family devotions are so important. It gives us the chance to enter into that sanctuary where all that really matters is the Father’s amazing love for all of His kids.
My prayer is that we all may walk out this Christian life in such a way as to draw others to Him. May our humility, love, forgiveness and correction of one another be so different that others will want us to give a reason for our hope.