Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NLT
Chosen, what a word! Christ has chosen us as His disciples. Jesus selected the twelve disciples and appointed them as His apostles (those sent by Him - see Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 6:13-16). He told them that they didn't choose Him but, rather, He chose them. “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” John 15:16 NLT When we contemplate the reality that God has chosen us to be His children we should be in utter awe. To be accepted by God Himself is the ultimate privilege and honor. Being a "Christian" is so much more than an intellectual understanding of God's existence and believing the story of His Son Jesus Christ. Truly knowing that you are a part of His family should result in a response of utmost realization that we now represent the Holy God as His children. We now have a spiritual DNA that defines our personality and conduct. God is Holy! “The LORD also said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” Leviticus 19:1-2 NLT "Holy" means separate, set apart, sacred, divine. God is light, not darkness. He is righteous, not wicked. He is truth, not falsehood. Since the God we belong to is Holy, let us be correspondingly conscientious in our conduct so that we may honor Him with our lives. Let us live lives that are distinct and separate from the mainstream of a sinful, fallen society. Paul uses the idea of putting on holy attributes like clothing. Everyday we must clothe ourselves physically to begin our day. It behoves us, as God's children, to dress ourselves with the right attitude and actions as we prepare for each day of service to the Master.
Paul names five characteristics:
1. Tender hearted mercy - we must be full of compassion toward our fellow man.
2. Kindness - we must be kind. Jesus isn't mean spirited, coarse, or rude.
3. Humility - we need to think of self less and others more. Humility is a choice to yield to the needs and benefit of others.
4. Gentleness (meekness KJV)- Let us not run over others with a cantankerous, mean spirited attitude that seeks only self gratification. Let us treat others with care. Let us treat others as if we were serving Jesus. Do to others what you would want them to do to you (see Matthew 7:12).
5. Patience (Longsuffering - KJV) - the ability to endure delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry and out of hand.
We would do well to learn these characteristics and employ them in our daily actions and interactions with others. It is extremely difficult to preach the gospel to others when they see our character in opposition to our profession. Let's stop talking about our "Christianity" and let's simply start living it. People see more than they hear. “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16 NLT
Rev. Curtis Norris