Colossians Part Ten

By Johnny Angel

Colossians 3:[12] Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. [13] You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. [14] And the most important piece of clothin you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful (NLT).

Have you ever made the mistake of picking up artificial fruit that looks real and tried to eat it? I can't say that I have. However, my youth pastor claims that he has made this mistake. His point in sharing this story is that you can try to look real, but it doesn't make you real. Inside, there is nothing. But if you truly clothe yourselves with Christ and practice His virtues. They will show because they radiate from the inside.

Our youth group did a skit about this concept. Two girls were getting ready for church and talking about all the stuff they were going to do that afternoon like going to the lake. One of them is a serious Christian who goes to church for the right reasons. The other proves that this is not what she really is. As they step outside the house into the farmyard, Cassie points at a chicken and says, "Look at the turkey!" Brook of course informs Cassie that it is not a turkey but a chicken. Then they drive down the road. Cassie points at a cow and says, "Look at that horse!" Brook points out that it is a cow. Further down the road, Cassie points at a Burger King and says, "Look at that McDonalds!" Brook is very frustrated by this time and points out that just because the chicken looks similar to a turkey that it is not a turkey. She says that just because a cow resembles a horse does not mean that it's a horse. And she dryly says that just because Burger King is similar to McDonalds does not mean that it is McDonalds. They get to church. But during the altar call, Brook is trying to focus on what God is doing. Cassie starts saying we better go ahead and leave so we can get something to eat before we go to the lake. Brook looks over at Cassie and says, "You may say you're a Christian, talk like a Christian, or look like a Christian, but you sure don't act like a Christian!"

Verse 13 is very important to me right now. I make mistakes all the time. In fact, it seems like every time we all load up in my car to go somewhere, that I almost get us killed. Last night, I thought I was getting in a turn lane, but when I cross the traffic, I realized there wasn't a turn lane. We almost got hit, but God was protecting us. I am praying for Him to help me to be more responsible in my driving. Had my friends not been Christians, they would probably have given me a really hard time. Instead, though, the forgave me and told me not to worry about it. God forgave us so we should forgive others.

There is a story in the gospels about a man who has borrowed A LOT of money from someone. He begs the person to forgive him and cancel his debt because he cannot find the money. The loaner tells him not to worry about it and to go on with his life. Then the loanee walks out and runs into someone who has borrowed A LITTLE BIT of money from him. The man cannot pay. Instead of forgiving him, the man throws him in prison.

We can learn a lot about this. We can't ask to be forgiven and then not have a forgiving spirit towards others. If this is the case, we need to examine ourselves and ask God to get us straightened out.

One of our subscribers shared with me one time how that when St. John got older, they would bring him to the temple and expect him to preach a big long, powerful sermon. He would simply proclaim "Love one another!" We may think that someone who was known as the disciple Jesus loved and who was the only disciple to go to the crucifixion would have more to say. But He had learned from being with Jesus every day for three years that love is what it's all about. True love works like God's love. It forgives, cares, doesn't keep records of wrongdoing, it is patient, it is kind.

When we have the real Spirit of Christ living inside of us, we have love. We are clothed with the virtues of tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humilty, gentlenesss, and patience. This helps us to experience God's peace. This peace rules in our hearts. It helps our actions to work the actions of other believers.