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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. 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 word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 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.
I chose this text because it was read at my wedding 26 years ago today. It is such a beautiful text for two people about to be married. “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” As I heard those words at the altar I thought,” piece of cake, it will be so easy to live this way. I loved my new husband so much, this would take no effort at all. We had this whole compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness and patience thing down. Well…at least for the first few weeks of marital bliss.
Then reality hit us. Ouch! And I understood why verse 13 followed verse 12. ”Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Words of wisdom, words of love, words of hope. Words that are full of grace.
Relationships are complex. We can utilize verses 12 and 13 in each relationship we have in our lives. Each relationship is different yet they all flourish and grow with the love and forgiveness that we have received in Jesus Christ.
When we let Christ rule in our hearts, our hearts are changed, they are changed because of what Jesus Christ has done for all of us, he has lived the way and showed us the way to live. It is through him that we can truly experience joy and love, and forgiveness in our lives. Thank you Jesus!