Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
I’m not sure what’s more frustrating, the people I have to put up with or my bad attitude I have in responding to them. I’m sure that others have felt that I’ve been quite a handful to deal with at times. Maybe they have thrown their arms up in disgust about my behavior. That’s for sure. Really, I thought I was a little better and maybe more perfect than others. You’re kidding me, aren’t you? Yes Lord, I know that I’m flawed. I am a sinner in need of your forgiveness. Thank you for freely forgiving me. I didn’t have to earn your forgiveness. Not that I could have anyhow. I didn’t have to show you that I was worthy of your forgiveness. When I confessed my sin you just gave your forgiveness to me. Why is it that I have trouble being as loving and gracious toward others?
It’s like my first instinct is to put on the wrong clothes that don’t go together. My clothing combinations have been like mixing plaids with stripes or checks with polka dots. I don’t recall you ever wearing polka dots. No, I haven’t, but you get the idea. Yes, I do, but I’d like you to say more about what you mean. Do you want some examples? Yes, I do.
Here are some of my clothing combinations that haven’t gone together at all. I’ve wanted to be merciful in all my actions. That’s very good. Well, as I have put on mercy, I have also worn judgment with it. I’ve found fault in others and been critical of their behavior. Those definitely don’t go together. I know it’s an ugly combination that clashes with each other.
I’ve also wanted to have a kind heart that guides how I feel and respond to others. But, along with kindness I have attempted to also wear anger, bitterness, and revenge. Those are impossible combinations. You can’t have kindness in your heart and wear those. I know, the ugliness of anger, bitterness, and revenge overpowers the beauty of kindness. Yes, they do.
I’ve wanted to have a humble mind that is patient and tolerant with others. That would look very good on you. Yes, I know. What have you tried to combine it with? I am embarrassed to say that I’ve attempted to wear humbleness with pride. Those are opposites that clash. Yes, I could see that when I tried wearing them both.
It looks to me like you need help with clothing yourself. Yes Lord, I do. Would you like my help? Yes Lord, I would. There is one piece of clothing that will help you to know how to dress properly. What is that? It is love. I want you to put on my love. With the same love with which I loved you, I want you to love others. That’s what I want Lord. I know that you do. Would you like my help? Yes Lord, I would. Then ask me to help you to put on love. That will put all your other clothes in perfect unity. Will you ask me for this help? Yes Lord, I am asking for your help right now.
Lord, I know that with my own strength and ability I am not able to love and forgive just as you have loved and forgiven me. Help me to be clothed with your love so that I can love and forgive even those who have hurt me. Amen
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