Thursday, December 4, 2008

Colossians 3:12-13 -- On Three-way Peace

"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

I think these two verses are leading up to verse 15 in the same chapter, which says "let the peace of God rule in your hearts" and "be ye thankful." ... I think the verses work together.  In order to get that peace, we have to do these things, but also, in order to do these things, we have to let the peace of God rule us.  It is easy in our daily lives to forget these things... mercy, humility, kindness, meekness (patience, gentleness, submissiveness), and it is easy to jump to conclusions, to judge people and leave no room for change.  It is easy to hold grudges, and we have a thousand ways to justify them to ourselves. But here it is... God is asking us not to do that.
And, you know, in the end, I don't even think that he is asking that for the benefit of those other people that we judge, or who are hurt because of our non-kindness, or our non-patience.  I think he asks those things mostly for us. We can't be at peace when we are treating other people disrespectfully, no matter what the reason is.  I think it is part of that change of heart that we need to keep working at. :)  Loving everyone is difficult sometimes, but it gets easier as we let go of resentments and things that can keep the spirit away.  Today, let's remember this scripture... let's let go of quarrels and things that are causing strife, and try to be at peace.  Within ourselves, with others, and with God.

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