This morning during my devotions, I was reading Colossians 3. It’s a chapter that has been read and even memorized by many. As I read verses 12-14, I read yet again the qualities of a holy and beloved child of God. Qualities that should be “put on” every day because the tendency of selfishness and a lackadaisical attitude can often hamper these qualities from manifesting themselves in our daily actions and words.
I wanted to dig a little deeper in knowing the exact definition of these words that we are instructed to “put on”. First, there’s bowels of mercies: showing compassion and pity. Kindness: moral goodness, integrity. Humbleness of mind: having a deep sense (humble opinion) of one’s littleness. Meekness: gentleness, mildness. Longsuffering: patience, endurance, slowness in avenging wrongs. Forbearing one another: to hold up, to sustain. Forgiving one another: to do something pleasant, to freely give, to pardon, to restore. And then finally above all these great qualities we are to put on charity: love which binds us together in all perfection. Along with the word charity, it is also described as a “love feast”. How often do others get to enjoy our heartfelt, unbiased love when they’re around us? Is it a quick moment of affection or is it an ongoing practice that they can just feast on and feel full in their hearts?
Wow – to go about our life radiating this type of Christianity would stop the mouths of the mockers! This would be true Christianity lived out. No hypocrisy would be seen in the life of the one living like this!
I read these verses and thought of my marriage. Do I show compassion and pity to “the man” when he may have had a hard day at work or do I think to myself that he should just bear it as the man?! Do I offer kindness to him by keeping myself moral in body, deed, and thought? Do I present myself in such a way that honors him above myself realizing that his desires are much more important than my own?! Am I gentle in the way I converse or react to him?! If I feel that he has wronged me, am I slow to be angry and show patience in trying to work it out rather than retaliate or shut down?! Do I hold him up in high esteem in my heart as well as to others? Do I quickly forgive him and act as if the wrong has never been committed against me and then if that’s not enough….do something nice for him?! Finally, do I give him my full agape love that will lead to a marriage bound together in harmony and perfection?! Sadly, I must confess I often do not. It is my desire though. I will fail but God’s grace is greater than my failures. He renews my heart and gives me the ability to live in victory. I must try my best, of course. But I can do so while looking to Him – the Source of my strength.
So as you start out the rest of your days this week, dress yourself with these amazing qualities and see what happens!