Most of us don’t like confrontation. It is something I try to avoid if at all possible. But, there’s something else that recently has made me feel even more uncomfortable… observing friends being shut down for interjecting thoughts or ideas that may be contrary to the listener.
Open communication and a free exchange of ideas are so important to me. A respectful, kind, and friendly discussion is one where we actually listen and then speak and generally it’s a rather enjoyable experience. I am terribly uncomfortable when people think their ideas are the only ideas and anyone who has a thought contrary theirs is “stupid” or uninformed or worse.
Maybe that is why scriptures about loving each other keep leaping off the page at me.
God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.
Often we forget our value and the value of others.
God chose us. And when we choose to follow him, we become holy… set apart… for him.
Because God loves us so completely, as his people we should think and act like him… showing mercy, being kind and humble and gentle and patient with others.
That love that God has infused into our spirits, should we chose to allow it to influence our thoughts, will help us put up with those who challenge us in some way. And if we are wronged we need to forgive, just as Jesus forgave us, even though we didn’t deserve it.
Paul, the writer of the letter to the Christians in Colossae, suggested that we choose to dress ourselves with love. Daily, we take time, sometimes considerable time, getting dressed for the day in the right combination of clothing. We shop for the right outfits and we spend time making sure that we look good each day. But, Paul suggests that love is a higher value than our outward appearance. We wouldn’t leave the house without clothing, so why would we start our days without love?
I haven’t purposefully started my day by mentally putting on love as if I were dressing myself. But, I think I need to start. As I get dressed in the morning, maybe I need to pray through putting on God’s love and all those attributes of his love… mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness.
Paul also mentions that love holds us together in perfect unity.
If we don’t wear love… we’re a disheveled mess, aren’t we? Unfortunately, we take that mess with us wherever we go.
God’s plan for his people is to live in unity. Unity of spirit and purpose. When we find ourselves in a mess… maybe the first thing we should do is go to the “mirror” to see what we’re wearing. If we haven’t taken the time to put on the garment of love we need to give ourselves a little time to get rid of the things we shouldn’t be wearing and put on love.
Because we all need a reminder to live in love and wear the garments of love.
I created this printable for you (for personal use only).
Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love.
Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.
So how about it? Will you join me and purposefully clothe yourself in love?
I’d love to hear how it makes a difference.
Because when we do… I’m pretty sure that we will see people differently because we’ll be seeing them through God’s loving eyes and then our responses and actions will no doubt be loving then, too.
And time to get our joy meters soaring!
Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful. This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space is something we do each week to reset our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord.
Thank you, God for…
- Your love and that you made a way for us to live in love.
- a hard week of work.
- several sunny days and for this April-like weather we are and will be experiencing.
- neighbor kids who ask if I can help them make a birthday cake to surprise their dad.
- a long chat on the phone with my friend.
- finding out that the girls in my small group live in our first house we had built and love it.
- an unexpected lunch invitation.
Now…it’s YOUR turn!
List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.
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