I was preparing to teach. I remember being in my room working, when each of my three treasures decided to come in: one started playing with my pencil, another took the sheet of paper from me to try to help me, and when the third came to ask me questions, I exploded and took out the three of my room... Upon returning to my workplace, I immediately read:
So, you as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with tender compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another. As Christ forgave you, so do you too. Above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of unity (Col 3:12-13).
Without a doubt, my reaction at that moment was not in accordance with what I was preparing to teach.
Because of our fallen nature, this type of behavior is a reality in all of our relationships. When things get complicated, or something different than what we want happens, our sin comes out in the way we treat others. It comes natural to us to act with anger, anger, yelling, envy or unforgiveness.
But the Bible calls us, because of our new identity in Christ, to treat one another with characteristics that we need to put on. In this article we will study these details, according to the teaching of Colossians 3:12-13.
Chosen, holy and beloved
The basis and starting point of the way we should treat each other is what God has done with us. The Bible always shows us the indicative behind the imperative. That is, what God has done first and what we are called to do accordingly.
So, in Colossians, before calling us to live in a certain way, we are told that such behavior results from the fact that God has chosen us, set us apart, and loves us: "Then you as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved..." (v 12).
God loved us, chose and set apart so that now, in His power, as Christ did with us, so we may also do to others
I can love because I have been loved first. I can forgive because I have been chosen and forgiven. What God has done for me in Christ is my identity. "Chosen, holy, and loved" is who I am, and part of the result of that identity is a different way of relating to others.
a new outfit
As a result of our new identity in Christ, there are certain characteristics that must be part of our new clothing as believing women; that is, they must identify us in dealing with others:
Clothe yourselves with tender compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another. As Christ forgave you, so do you too. Above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of unity (Col 3:12-13).
compassion and kindness
The passage first calls us to the compassion. Compassion is the quality that, upon seeing pain and need, hurts and acts in favor of the other. Jesus had compassion on the hungry multitude and fed them. He had compassion on the multitude that walked like sheep without a shepherd and taught them (Mr 6:34). Compassion not only feels, but also acts.
I understand the goodness in this passage as kindness, which is the characteristic of treating others in a pleasant and affectionate manner. Kindness is not only seen in our words, but also in our treatment of others. Furthermore, our call to be kind should not depend on our being treated in the same way; it is not a reaction to treatment received from others, but a response to Jesus' compassion for us.
humility and meekness
The modesty it is the characteristic that allows us to see the other as superior to us and seek their well-being above ours (Phil 2:3-4). As believers we recognize that at the foot of the cross we are all equal. Therefore, dressing in humility implies not looking for how to win arguments, but rather being willing to admit our faults and not seeing ourselves as better than others. Humility helps us to recognize who we are and who God is, as John Stott said:
Nothing in history or in the universe makes us our real size like the cross. We all have an inflated perspective of ourselves, especially in our self-righteousness, until we visit a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, where we reach our true size (Quoted in CJ Mahaney, humility [Humildad], p. 37).
We are also called to act with meekness, that quality that reflects power under control. The main sign that a believer has meekness is his docile submission to God's purposes, to his plans for his life. Being meek allows us to find rest in the midst of any situation, because we place our total trust in his authority and goodness.
Meekness and humility allow us to have a strength subjected to God's purposes; a strength that is willing to bow down and wash the feet of others.
patience and forgiveness
The patience It is a difficult quality to practice, but very necessary. We need patience when our friend is late again, when the kids don't act the way we've expected, when our coworker didn't turn in her part of her project like she should have. Being patient in our relationships requires humility, because we need to recognize daily that God is patient with us and that others are also patient with us because we fail.
In addition to putting on patience, we are called to forgive one another. We must have a forgiving heart because we have been first forgiven by Christ.
We must have a forgiving heart because we have been first forgiven by Christ
He sorry it must bring reconciliation, in the sense of being able to look at the offender without rancor. But reconciliation does not always imply closeness: the wound of an offense may warrant a certain physical and emotional distance. Forgiveness does not always eliminate the consequences. Forgiveness does not mean that the sin does not matter, it means that we leave the payment for the sin that has been committed against us in God's hands. Forgiveness does not mean that we will not turn to the criminal authorities, but rather that, even when we do, we know that the supreme Judge is our God.
Above all dresses of love
Finally, in our dealings with one another we clothe ourselves in love, which is the bond that holds us together. That love that believes everything, hopes everything, supports everything (1 Cor 13:7). That love that is kind, merciful and patient. With that love we have been loved first by Jesus, who loved us to the end (Jn 13:1).
The reality of continuing to struggle with a fallen nature means that, as happened to me with my children, we do not always act dressed in these characteristics: instead of offering forgiveness, we have resentment; instead of being kind, we react with anger; instead of having compassion, we ignore the need. But thank God for Jesus Christ, in whom we find forgiveness, when we go to Him in repentance. Thank God for his Spirit, who intercedes on our behalf and enables us to live as is worthy of Him.
God loved us, chose and set apart so that now, in His power, as Christ did with us, so we may also do to others.