“12Therefore, as God’s Chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
As the Holy Spirit continues to instruct our hearts in the likeness of Christ, these “put on” characteristics tumble out of His heart onto the page. The language gives us some indication as to how all this works. These are, if you will, “to do’s.” They are not “how-to’s” because the how-to is supplied in the very nature of the One who lives within us. These are things that we must do to access that nature. It is real, and it is not hypocritical to allow Him to become our outward being, just like we have allowed Him to become our inward being.
When Christ came inside of us, the entire fullness of Him came within us (Colossians 2:9-10). This means all His characteristics and attributes. So, the Holy Spirit can now just say, “Take out compassion, kindness, etc. and let them be your expressions in this realm.” This is our part. You see, potentially the Lord forgave everyone, but everyone must receive Him and then live out His benefits. “6So, then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6) Likewise, all the benefits in Him (everything He is) awaits our willingness to allow its expression. It is all a matter of relationship. Accessing all He is merely means to receive and take as our own – all He is and all He brings into our persons as a result of His indwelling by our permission.
Sometimes we are lulled into the attitude of “Jesus will do it for me.” Now He does many, many things for us automatically (Ephesians 1:3-14 is a good illustration of that). But He does not overrule what we want. He longs for us to choose His way in all expressions of our lives. An awareness of this does not place us back under law at all but instead releases us into Him as He empowers our choice.
We have an awesome Savior! All these attributes, Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, putting up with one another and forgiving one another are all already empowered in us. Now let’s purposely begin to order our minds and actions according to that power. It is a marvelous interaction in Him!
Lord, thank you for all your gifts, but most of all for our relationship, so sweet and tender yet powerful and real, in You! In adoration we love You.