Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:12-13
If we are in Christ we are new creatures and we must live like it. We cannot live like we once lived because we are not the people we once were.
In Colossians 3 God gives us eight traits that are to characterize this new life. But first, he reminds us of our new identity. We are God’s chosen ones, chosen and adopted by the Father. That God chose us reminds us that God loves us. We are special to God. Moreover, we are holy. We are saints. We are blameless before God because we are in Christ. And then, we are beloved, beloved by God. We are the objects of the Father’s tender affection.
With this assurance of our new identity, we are ready to adopt these eight traits, to firmly and decisively live this way.
Firstly, live with a compassionate heart. Care about people. Care about suffering. Care about hurts. See people as God sees them.
Secondly, put on kindness. Kindness in your voice, kindness in your smile, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your touch, kindness in your actions.
Thirdly, take on humility. Humble yourself. Focus on Christ and others, not yourself. Lie low and exalt Jesus.
Fourthly, live with meekness. Be gentle, not harsh or demanding. Be tender with people.
Fifthly, take on patience. Choose to be easy to live with, not irritable, difficult, or quick-tempered.
Sixthly, bear with one another. Be patient with people. Don’t fly off the handle. Choose to let some things go.
Seventhly, forgive one another. Choose to forgive the person who has wronged you. Make the choice. Because God has forgiven you. Let them off the hook.
Eighthly, put on love. All seven of the previous traits are about love. Love is the bottom line. “And above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (3:14).
You can live this way, characterized by all eight of these traits. You can live this way and you must live this way. Brook no excuse. Depend on Christ’s power to obey the Lord and live out these eight traits.
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