“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:12-13 (KJV)
We could look at living the Christian life as “The Clothes We Wear”. It takes the mind that has been renewed by the Spirit of God to mentally put off sin, and to put on Christ. That is a heart and mind choice we make each day.
In verse eight the apostle tells us what we are to “Put off”. These are put off by an act of the renewed mind which the Christian has received through faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Likewise the things which we “Put on” are acts of the renewed mind. This renewed mind is operating in the heart and mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit in us (Romans 8:9). You are the “Elect of God” if you have by the grace of God been born again through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Two of the things I want to point out in these verses is of particular importance; and that is “Forbearing one another” that is putting up with one another’s faults, real or unreal; and “Forgiving one another”. These are so necessary in a Christian’s life. Forbearance does not mean to put up with another’s sins, but little things that often bother us about other people. Let us face it; we are all different. Different in our thinking, different in raising a family, different in politics, different in religion and beliefs. We can discuss those things without anger, malice, etc..
We have received much forgiveness from our Lord and Savior. We can give much. If we are unforgiving toward anyone; we have ourselves for an enemy. We do not have to wait on someone asking forgiveness; we forgive when the offense is committed, or at least as soon as we realize we have not been forgiving.
What will you put off today; and what will you put on?
Verses to read: Matthew 6:14-15; Luke 17:3-4; 23:34.