9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
|Paul is still writing about the change that should have taken place in the lives of the Colossian Christians when they came to Christ. That change is both instantaneous (happens straightaway) and continuing.
Here Paul describes the things of a Christian's new life as clothes to be put on. He concludes with a wonderful overall covering in verse 14-LOVE. That must cover everything else and be a part of all that a Christian does.
In verse 12 Paul says that what a Christian needs first of all is a heart of pity or compassion. In Paul's day very little pity was felt for anyone, or anything. It was a cruel world where life was not held sacred. There was no provision for the sick or the lame or the old. It was only the gospel of Jesus Christ that introduced the word pity and the actions of compassion to the world.
Even today it is a cruel violent world in which we live, filled with suffering and hunger. Christians need more than ever to show this side of Christ's heart of love.
The second word, kindness, is the same word that Christ used when he said 'My yoke is easy'. It is the opposite of being harsh and unfeeling. It is a spirit that will not fight back no matter who or what may be against it.
Then comes humility, a common word in the epistles, but again a word that the heathen people of Paul's day knew nothing about and which people today often ignore. Remember both Moses and Jesus were called meek or humble, but neither of them lacked strength. Humility is not weakness but gentle strength at the right time.
Each of the other words is worth studying. Never forget that the secret to all of these things lies in the love of Christ. As Paul says in verse 14, beyond all these things, over all these things, put on love. That makes everything else we have spoken about possible. Ask Christ today to let his love shine through you and you will find the new clothes of a Christian can fit you just as well as anyone else.