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
Being a follower of Christ places some demands on our lives. We cannot follow him and, at the same time, live like the people around us. Or live lives that are unchanged from what we were. Prior to this passage, Paul addressed some of the specific attitudes and actions that we should avoid as we follow Jesus. And in this one, he deals with what we should be instead.
Clothe Yourself With . . .
In Exodus, God gave instructions concerning the garb of the priests as they served at the tabernacle. They were to be holy. And that was reflected in what they wore. In the same way, we are called to be holy. And that is reflected in what we wear. Not the outward garb. But rather, in the attributes of our lives.
Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Forgive others who have wronged you. And let love characterize your every action. For most of us, this will not come easy. Nor will it happen overnight. But, as parts of the body of Christ, we are called to be united in one heart and mind. And learning to live like this is essential to developing that unity God wants us to have. We are all different, having different backgrounds and personalities. But, in Christ, we are one body. And we should live in such a way as to promote that unity.