Thursday 1st October – Colossians – Christian Behaviour
Colossians 3: 5 – 17
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Years ago there was a book entitled “How To Make Friends And Influence People. ” Folk wanted to know how they could make others like them. The writer of Colossians was answering those questions, but in a very different way.
The writer says that we should not be trapped in sinful ways and there’s quite a range mentioned; but rather each one of us should be renewed. Our passage then goes on to tell us we need to be people others want to have around if we are to truly make friends. We need to: “Put on … 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. And most importantly, put on love”
So, when we put on the ‘new self’ Paul says it looks like this:
- A Compassionate Heart – which is a yearning to meet the needs of those less fortunate.
- Kindness – believing that you are not better than others and that you place the needs of others in front of yourself.
- Humility – understanding who you are before a holy God.
- Meekness – having a gentle spirit but not being a doormat.
- Patience – able to be with people in difficult times…
- Bearing with one another… being there to lift others up.
- Forgiving – discounting our right to judge and pass judgment.
Having love. This is the most important characteristic Paul points out. This type of love binds us to God and to others. Love brings about harmony and success within the Body of Christ. We are called to live in community with one another; to learn to love one another, and be tolerant and forgiving and, above all, to encourage one another in what we say giving thanks to God for everything.
God, help us to be compassionate towards others, kind to those who can’t offer us anything in return, humble and realize life is not just about us; gentle, and patient. Help us to forgive and to love in every situation. Help us to let peace have the final say in our souls. Help us to find reasons to be thankful in every situation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.