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.Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness. This is quite a list of virtues that Paul instructs God’s chosen people to cloth themselves with. God’s chosen people. That’s us. We who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Who have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And who can call God, Father.
As God’s chosen people we should not be like the people of this world. Instead, we are called to be different. And, as God’s chosen ones, these ‘virtues’ are to characterize our lives. We are to ‘put them on’. Just like getting dressed in the morning. These virtues don’t just magically appear. It takes work on our part to be clothed with them. But it is something that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do.
Accessorize With Love
I am a guy with very little fashion sense. But I hear my wife, and others, sometimes talk about a particular accessory that ‘ties together’ an outfit, or room décor, or some other collection of related objects. And that seems to be the sense of what Paul is talking about here. On top of all these other virtues, put on love. Love is the virtue that ties together all of the others. Without love, the ensemble is incomplete. But with love, everything else fits together in perfect harmony.
Grow in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness. But, most of all, grow in love. Let love be the motivation and directing force behind each of the others.
Download this article as a PDF file.