Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 3:14
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” – Colossians 3:14
This verse is basically at the heart of the Christian faith. Going back a few verses, we see how we are to be toward others. “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Colossians 3:12-13. Paul first tells them they were called of God to be His. This had been, in times past, only spoken of the Jews. The scribes, pharisees, and other leaders believed they were the only ones chosen to be God’s people. Paul encourages them that these leaders were wrong, for God has called them also to be His.
And because they, as well, were chosen by God to be His people, they must love all as God does. They are to be merciful to others. The idea of the phrase ‘put on’ in verse 12 is that we are not simply to act as if we are merciful, but we are to truly be merciful to all. In all cases of this kind, we are to, as Adam Clarke put so well, let our heart dictate to our hands. We must act to help those in need because of true compassion we have for them. It should not be out of self-aggrandizement, but because we genuinely care for their predicament. We should absolutely love all, and desire to help those who cannot, at this time, help themselves. He then lists characteristics that should be exhibited, those being compassion and kindness. We need to be humble, knowing that we could find ourselves in their position. And we are to be patient and gentle, showing that we care about them and want to help.
He then goes on to say we should forgive others who wrong us. This is a true showing of our love for them. It is a difficult experience to be hurt by another. It can be difficult to endure at times. I remember when I experienced this at a former work place. The company brought in a project manager to oversee a major overhaul of our financial applications. He was not an easy person to work with, and once he reported to my direct supervisor something wrong I had not actually done. I received a call from her asking me what had happened. Afterwards, I went to him personally letting him know what actually occurred and He called her to clarify. Now, I will not say I was perfect in this, however, I told him I forgave him and we moved on. However, I believe God used this to help me learn how to address problems like this.
Then, in our focus verse, Paul says, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:14. Again, we see the term ‘put on’ used. We are to genuinely love our brothers and sisters, as well as those who are not yet saved, and not just put on a show. False love tends to make itself known and will show itself in disunity. Peter put it this way. “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9. The world is watching us. They will know when our love is genuine. They will also know when it is not. Therefore, let us put on genuine love and we will be able to make a vast difference in a world that that so needs to see it.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.