"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." (Colossians 3:12-17).
There's no shortage of challenging words in the Bible, but these certainly have to be high on the list. "Clothe" yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Interesting word selection ... "clothe." Just as we put on clothing every day, we are to "wear" these qualities daily. But the words don't end there. Forgive. Love. Let peace rule in your heart. We can get so caught up in how we're supposed to do all these things that we overlook the last part. "Be thankful ... [sing] with gratitude in your hearts ... and whatever you do, do it in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God."
Did you notice the repetition in the last two verses? Be thankful ... show gratitude ... give thanks. It's almost as if the writer knows we need to hear these words more than once, to be reminded of their importance. Why? I wonder if it isn't because all the other things are dependent on our view of life. If I'm thankful for what I have received, and know that I will receive, from God, I can be kind to others. When I'm in a thankful frame of mind, I can be patient, humble, and have compassion for others. When I am grateful for God's love and forgiveness for me, it's easier for me to show love for and forgive others. And, on the flip side, when I'm not thankful I tend to be resentful, angry, impatient, and self-centered.
Did everything in my life turn out the way I thought it would or even hoped it would? No. Do I wish some of the circumstances of my life were different? Yes. But I am thankful to God for so many things - past, present, and future. And, with the peace and word of Christ ruling and dwelling in me, I can do all these things ... as Christ gives me the strength.
Thought to ponder: Have you thought about the importance of thankfulness when it comes to living your faith?