12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
13 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.
Putting on theses Christ-like attributes is often hard and challenging because these things do not come naturally to us. In this particular church that this letter was being written to, they were being encouraged to fix conflict in a gracious and Christ-like way. Conflict is something that unfortunately does arises among churches and that is why scripture addresses how to deal with it.
In these two short verses we are given a clear message on how to love one another and forgive one another. The reason why we are called to live this way is because Christ exercised His love and grace towards us, as His children, we are to exemplify that in our own life. We never deserved or earned God’s love. In turn if we too did not deserve God’s love and yet were still given it, we do not hold the right to not show forgiveness to others.
God’s love and Grace was given to us freely. Let us take that free gift and also give it to others just as Christ continuously exercises His love towards us.
The Colossian church was in a major metropolitan city which was largely gentile with a growing number of Jews. Unlike some other churches planted by Paul, the Colossian church was relatively well behaved and the region had been impacted by them in a positive way. That is not to say that Paul did not need to correct them any. Paul’s words in chapter 3, verses 12-13 are not a warning to the church but an encouragement for them to continue on.
Like the Colossian church, we too need reminded of the fruits of the gospel. It is easy to get caught up in life and business. But we do as Paul urges and focus on producing these fruits. To be kind, humble, meek, patient, forgiving, and loving all of God’s children.
[Featured image from biblia.com]