September 1, 2021
“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” – Colossians 3:12-14
People are hard to deal with. The selfish driver on the road, the rude person in front of you at the checkout line, or the store employee who seems annoyed that they have to wait on you can all quickly ruin your day. Oddly enough, however, strangers are not the ones who usually draw the most frustration and anger from us. The closer you are in relationship to someone the more sensitive you are to their actions and the greater potential they have to harm you. In life, family is almost always the people who test our patience more than anyone else.
What is true of our biological family is true of our Christian family. In my life, some of the deepest hurts I have felt have come from those in my church. But this need not be. Colossians chapter 3 tells us exactly how to avoid this. We make a conscious effort to have compassion, exhibit kindness, live in humility, interact with gentleness, and always have patience with one another. Inside the family of God, forgiveness should be the norm precisely because forgiveness is the very thing that has brought us back to God and made us into the family that we are. And all of this can be summed up in one word: love. When we truly live a life of love for one another, unity will be the natural result.
Heavenly Father, teach us to love because you first loved us. Empower us to show true love to our brothers and sisters in the same way you have shown true love to us.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon