So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:12-14
When someone you have looked up to, loved, and respected has been revealed in living in the depths of sin, what will you put on?
Compassion or animosity?
Will you find the perspectives that provoke deep feelings of sorrow and sympathy for them or will you entertain enmity in your mind, wishing them ill-will in their future? Will you remember the compassion Jesus had on the adulterous woman or be quick to cast the first stone?
When they are beaten down and wounded by the grief of their sin, what will you put on?
Kindness or disdain?
Will you find every opportunity to extend care and concern or will you turn your back, refusing to lift one finger for them? Will you remember the good Samaritan who showed mercy on a distraught neighbor or will you be as the men who passed by without a second glance?
When you think of their sin, what will you put on?
Humility or conceit?
Will you lower yourself in recognition that you are but a dreadful sinner too or will you beat your chest thinking you would never fall so hard? Will you remember the tax collector who could barely raise his eyes to God in prayer or be the Pharisee who proudly proclaims his innocence in exaltation of himself?
When you see them return from their follies, what will you put on?
Gentleness or hardness?
Will you receive them as a beloved lost child or will you snub them for their foolish choices? Will you remember the father’s joyful reception of the prodigal son or be as the hardened brother who didn’t want to celebrate his brother’s return?
When anger wells up against their actions, what will you put on?
Patience or intolerance?
Will you recognize a soul that is hurting and needs encouragement or will you refuse to share such a burden? Will you remember the master who forgave the servant who owed a great debt or be the servant who begged for patience yet did not give it to others?
When feelings of vengeance creep in your mind, what will you put on?
Forgiveness or punishment?
Will you trust in God’s judgment in condemnation and extend mercy or will you take matters into your own hands? Will you remember Stephen who asked God to forgive his murderers or be as those who closed their ears and put him to death?
When all things are said and done, what will you put on?
Love or scorn?
Will you keep the perfect bond of unity by surrendering completely to God’s will or sow seeds of contempt among His people? Will you remember the selfless sacrifice of Jesus for every sin or be as those who crucified Him, turning their backs on His message of love?
It’s up to you, holy and beloved.
YOU are the chosen of God.
Your brother has sinned.
What will you put on?
How much it hurts, my God, when secret lives are revealed to those who have trusted and loved them. It is the devastation of sin, and it is hard to understand. When these things happen, give me a heart of compassion. Help me to remember my own sins as not to point the finger. Help me to remember all the kindness and mercy Jesus showed and taught about. Help me to be patient and as forgiving as You, always remembering how You have forgiven me. Help me to be encouraging to my brother so as to draw them back to You. Help me to genuinely love as Christ to be as those that are holy and beloved before Your eyes. May all perfection and unity be found in Your holy ways. May I look to You as my guide and trust in Your righteous judgments always. I put aside my self-serving motivations and put on everything it takes to be what is needed by my brethren, all to the glory of Christ my Savior, amen.
Truth in love,