Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, 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.
The North Shuswap is bustling with people here camping for the week, renting for the month and living for the entire summer. The stores are packed with people, each with their own story to tell; each with their own unique interests and values. The humble t-shirt is in many ways a bill-board that can tell us a little bit about each person. Where they’ve been, what music they like, what kind of truck they drive, how they feel about this or that issue.
This garment changes from day to day (I hope) but underneath the projecting we may do with what we wear, is a deeper garment, the exterior expressions of what we most deeply believe. This is seen not in the graphics and designs of common dress, but in how we live: our attitude, our speech, and our conduct. What do these things say about who we are, and more importantly, Whose we are.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, he encourages his hearer’s attitudes to be adorned in such a way that reflects a life led by one chosen of God, the life of someone holy and beloved in Christ. What does that look like? Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
These traits are easy to express with those whom we generally get along, is that the time we are to exhibit such godly expression? Yes, but not only then. We have also received a higher calling for when we are bearing with one another. The word bearing has the sense of “enduring” and even the vivid picture “to restrain oneself”. Life in a Christ-centered gospel community is a blessing hands-down because we bear with one another, giving up isn’t an option for you, and it isn’t an option for others to give up on you either.
This isn’t because we made the decision in our flesh to grit our teeth and bear one another, but it is because in Christ we have received forgiveness and from the foundations of His forgiveness, we forgive one another; it is not natural, but supernatural. It is those who know the forgiveness in Jesus Christ that make Him known through their ability to forgive.
May we all put on Christ and display his glory.