Today’s Scripture: Colossians 3:12-13
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
We are going to spend this week leading up to Thanksgiving Day in Colossians 3. In this part of the letter, Paul exhorts the church at Colossae to set their minds on things above and to clothe themselves with love. You might want to go back and read the first eleven verses that lead up to today’s scripture.
The first part of verse 13 stands out to me as a key part of being able to fulfill the exhortation to clothe myself with love. I don’t know about you, but I struggle at times to “make allowance for each other’s faults.” I’m pretty easygoing most of time, but I do have a tendency to hold those closest to me to a standard that they might not know exists. This inevitably leads to frustration on my part when they don’t meet that (unknown to them) standard. If I have trouble dealing with these “imagined faults” that exist only in my mind, can you imagine how difficult it is to make room for real faults?
But to make that room is what I need to do so that I can, as Paul says, forgive others who offend me. You see, forgiveness is the key to clothing myself with love. Forgiveness releases the hold that frustration has on me. So, how does this happen? Look at the beginning of verse 12. “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves…” How do I make allowance for others and forgive others? I do it by remembering that God has given us a new life – a life where Christ is the heart of who we are, not earthly things. That new life is (or as Paul says, “must” be) marked by tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. This is who we are now in Christ. This is what it means to be clothed with love.
God, as we approach Thanksgiving Day, let us remember to give thanks for hearts clothed with love through the new life we have in Christ. May we make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive each other just as you have done for us. Amen.