Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Do you remember putting your clothes on this morning?
We may have thought long and hard about what to wear or we may have put on the first clothes that we picked out of the wardrobe. Whichever approach is closest to our approach, one thing is certain. There was a time when we were too young to dress ourselves and at some stage we had to learn how to put on our own clothes.
The image Paul uses to explain the idea of Christ-like behaviour is putting on clothes. If following Jesus is new to us it may not come naturally to put on an attitude of mercy, humility or patience. It may take effort, it might be a bit of a struggle sometimes and we might need to ask for help from someone in our new family. The habit of forgiving anyone who offends us also requires a conscious effort and does not come naturally. But with time these habits can become more familiar to us. Like putting on clothes every morning we can grow into the habit of putting on attitudes that match our identity – God’s chosen holy people that he loves.
The pattern of Paul’s teaching is the same as in his other letters. It is not a list of “do” and “don’t”. He starts by reminding his readers of God’s love and then he reminds them how to live in response to this love.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13)
Another response Paul calls for is thankfulness. In the space of today’s short passage, the words ‘thankful’ or ‘thanks’ are mentioned three times.
How thankful are we for all that God has done for us?
What spiritual ‘clothes’ are we going to put on today?
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