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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. 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)
Read: Colossians 3
Consider: In the last post we considered Isaiah’s prophecy against Judah and Jerusalem and the need to turn away from idolatry. This led us to think about our own need to deal with any idols we have in our lives; anything that can come between us and God. These things can be any aspect of life that we make more important than God in our lives.
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he mentions idolatry, but in one case links it to a sinful way of life. In Colossians 3:5 he says:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
This might surprise us at first, but remember that idolatry can be anything that we allow to become all-consuming to us. Unfortunately for many people the earthly nature can and does so fill their lives that God is squeezed out. Don’t forget that Paul is writing to the church at Colossae, so these are believing people. Nevertheless, these are people who needed to turn their backs on their past lives.
Having come into a new life with Christ, the Colossians needed to deal with other undesirable traits in their Christian walk. Paul says in Colossians 3:7-8
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Paul is saying that the new life in Christ is a continual process of dealing with ungodly aspects of our lives. Notice what Paul says in Colossians 3:9-10 about the new life: Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Paul uses the analogy of getting dressed to help us understand what he is talking about. We put off something (ungodly traits) and put on others (godly traits). Let me leave you with Paul’s words from Colossians 3:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Pray: Father, show us those aspects of our lives that are ungodly. Help us to want to become more Christlike by putting on those traits (virtues) that you want to grow in us. Amen