Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
• Compassion • kindness • humility •gentleness • forgiveness • love
I’m a list-maker so lists in Scripture always catch my eye. The thing about lists is they serve a necessary purpose in daily life. They’re usually filled with things to do and the object is twofold; to be reminded and to be able to √ items off. That’s how lists work. I think Paul’s √ list of virtues works the same way. It’s both a to-do and a reminder list but it has an added benefit.
Paul’s reminders are the right response to being “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved” but they’re about more than behavior. What if there’s another purpose to those reminders – the training of the heart? What if each thing on that list of virtues is also a ? to ask yourself that applies to “whatever you do, whether in word or deed?” What if the answer to each ? is as important as being able to √ it off?
• Compassion? • kindness? • humility? •gentleness? • forgiveness? • love?
Only the right answer makes it possible to add a √ mark after any of those virtues and there’s only one right answer to each of those ?’s. “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly… And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”