By Karen Polich
How do we “bear with each other”? (Colossians 3:13) Are we cloaked in our old ways are wearing our new wardrobe? Pastor Cook’s message, Attention to Attire, from the Fragile Growth series, looked at how we interact with those around us. (Listen to the podcast here.)
A church family provides connection, comfort and passion. It can also bring irritation, frustration and unmet expectations. How we choose to deal with the others in our life sets us apart. This push and pull with people happens not only in a church family, but in all areas of our existence.
We’ve been given the gift of a new wardrobe. Through Christ we are given what we need to handle the challenges that come while experiencing life with others.
Colossians 3:11-16 has five characteristics of our new wardrobe.
Compassion. We should feel compassion for others. Do we have a mercy zone?
Kindness. This is the “doing”. Demonstrating our compassion with action shows kindness. What creative ways can we truly meet a need for someone else?
Humility. Jesus made himself nothing for us. Humility isn’t the absence of strength. It’s using our strength to help others.
Gentleness. Are we able to set ourselves aside and help others, demonstrating a gentle spirit?
Patience. This is the virtue of dealing with a difficult person over an extended period of time without writing them off or losing our cool.
We’ve all got choices. We can put on the new and seek to forgive when wronged, show patience for the difficult person and be kind. It may cost us something in return. We may have to let go of anger or disappointment. We may have to let go of ourselves and simply seek Him.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Christ is all and is in all. When we dress in these five characteristics, bound in love, Christ is reflected.