Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another …
This is a great passage from Paul's letter to the Christians in Colossae. It reminds us of our call to love one another. God's people, his children, are called to live differently than the world in which there is strife, dissension, anger, and wrath (Col. 3:5-11).
Paul encourages the Christians of his day to "put on" compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. This verb "put on" is an interesting way to describe living the Christian life. In order to live the Christian life, we need God's grace, his strength and power through his Holy Spirit. Paul pictures the new life in Christ like a new convert who has put on a clean baptismal robe.
Another analogy is the clothing worn by an athlete. Like an athlete getting dressed for the game, we as Christians are called to get dressed up and enter into life ready to love others.
The athlete has certain clothes that he or she will wear that are appropriate for the competition. We as Christians have appropriate clothing as well - the graces of the Spirit of God - given to us by our Father.
The athlete prepares for her game mentally. Our mentality entering into our daily life will make the difference between falling into the flesh and the attitude of the world or walking by the Spirit.
Starting the day, every day with prayer and meditation on Scripture is a crucial way of preparing mentally for the game of life and drawing upon God's strength to love one another.
Love begins in the home. Our "game" is on sometimes from the moment we wake up until the time we go to sleep as we care for our children, attend to our elderly parents, or serve the needs of our spouse.
How do we prepare for our "game"? We need time with the Lord our God. We need time in which he can speak to us and empower us for our day.
Do you have a quiet time, a quiet place, a sacred space where you can be alone with your heavenly Father and find his grace to love your family, co-workers, friends, and fellow Christians?
We all need this sacred space and time with the One who knows us and loves us best. He can reset our focus upon what is most important and guide us in his path of love for others. It is in this time alone with our Lord that we can dress up for our game.
Father in heaven, you know how many times I fail to love those around me. When I should be compassionate, I am judgmental. When I should be kind, I am rough and selfish. When I should be humble, I am arrogant. When I should be patient, I am anxious and impatient. Father, forgive me of my sin and help me to become the kind of child who reflects your character of love at all times. Day by day I choose to seek you and your grace to live according to your word. Thank you that you are my strength and my rock. Amen.
"Breathe On Me, Breath of God" (By Edwin Hatch and Robert Jackson).
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
To listen to a recording of this hymn click here.