Since God Chose You...
The Lord has been teaching me so many things during support raising. One of the biggest things would be what it means to truly live out each of these things that Paul is talking about in Colossians 3. What would it look like if we encompassed each of these qualities? Since God chose us we should be clothing ourselves in each of these things. As you read, think to yourself if you are completely and honestly clothing yourself in these things.
- Compassionate hearts – Having a heart that is filled with mercy and compassion. In the way that you are responding to God and others, is it filled with love and concern, rather than selfishness? With a compassionate heart there is a deeper understanding and empathy towards someone’s difficulty or misfortune. In John 8, Jesus shows mercy towards the adulterous woman. This woman would have deserved to be punished, but instead Jesus showed mercy towards her. He said to the men around her “let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus exemplified what it means to have a compassionate heart. In your life, where can you practice this? Who can you show mercy to, even if you don’t think that they deserve this love?
- Kindness – An inner, tender, abundant mercy put into action. Someone who shows kindness is doing good to everyone and showing mercy with joy! Through kindness you are reaching out to others, offering support of some kind. Having a heart of compassion will naturally flow into kindness, physically showing your love and concern for those around you. Boaz showed Ruth kindness by allowing her to work in his fields. He didn’t have to do this because Ruth was a foreigner. She didn’t know the language or the culture; therefore, she was dependent on others. Through the kindness that Boaz showed Ruth, she was able to recognize that God is the one that she should be taking refuge in. No matter who you are, how much you have or don’t have, you can afford to give someone the gift of kindness. How has someone shown you kindness? How has it impacted you?
- Humility – A modest view of one’s own importance. Being able to recognize that we can’t lead our lives without God. Even though the world prizes being assertive or powerful, we, as Christians, are called to lead humble lives, by laying down our lives before our brothers and sisters and serving them the way that Christ would. Philippians 2:6-8 says “existing in the form of God, (he) didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross.” Christ was the very essence of what it means to be humble before those around you. Are you humbling yourself before others and, most importantly, before God? How can you act out of love and not out of a desire to receive something from your actions?
- Meekness – As you respond to those around you, is it with gentleness? Are you rejoicing in the gifts and talents that others have received from God or are you envious because you don’t have those gifts? Even if you are in some position of authority, can you control your power and strength, rather than abusing it. Are you leading people around you with gentleness? To lead with gentleness means to be kind and careful. You are soft and calm, sweet to others, and patient (slow to anger). Read (or listen to) Psalm 23 and think about how God is showing us His gentle spirit.
- Patience – I don’t feel qualified to share about what clothing yourself in patience may look like. But I will share what the Lord has laid on my heart for this one. Being patient allows you to endure adversity without striking out at the opponent. This is not so much a trait that someone has, but rather a way of life. Job is the prime example of patience and trusting the Lord, even when he had everything taken away from him. There have been many moments in my life that it was difficult to just be patient with someone, to just love them even though it was hard. But the Lord still worked through me to be patient anyways.
- Love – This is the one that binds all of the others together in perfect harmony. The form of love that Paul is using here is agape – it concerns with the well-being of someone else, not expecting anything in return as you love. It is more of a “doing” rather than a “feeling.” Someone who exhibits this type of love will do whatever is needed to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison (Matthew 25:31-46). I mean, the greatest commandment is to love: 1) the Lord your God and 3) your neighbor. Are you loving those around you, simply because they are loved by God? Loving them and not expecting to receive anything in return. A couple quotes that I found powerful on this topic are 1) “Do not waste your time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did.” -CS Lewis and 2) “to love someone means to see him as God intended him.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky
Take some time now to examine yourself. In which of these six qualities (compassionate heart, kindness, meekness, humility, patience, and love) can you grow in? In which of them do you feel that the Lord has gifted you in? How can you share with others these things that the Lord has given us? Bring people alongside you that can keep you accountable for these things. The picture included on the bottom has just a few people in my life that will keep me accountable for these qualities.
My challenge to you: grow in each of these. Allow the Lord to reveal to you where you may need to trust Him a little bit more as you clothe yourself in these things. After all, God chose you – you are holy and beloved! Rest in that promise.