As Christians, we are expected to have certain virtues. We see the Apostle Paul telling the church in Colossae what these virtues are. Let’s take a deeper dive into these virtues to understand just what Paul was getting to.
Compassion: literally refers to the inner parts or bowels of a person or animal. It is the concept of experiencing empathy, mercy, and compassion as referring to the inner person. It means to have a physical reaction.
Kindness: means to provide something to someone. You do so out of an act of kindness. You make a conscious decision to perform an act that has a positive effect on someone.
Humility: is an attitude. It is in stark contrast to pride or arrogance. We are to serve God with humility, following the example of Christ. False or vain humility is inappropriate and considered opposing God.
Gentleness: is very similar to humility. It includes the idea of meekness in conjunction with humility. We might consider being gentle similar to being kind, but with a bit of humility added in.
Patience: is forbearance. Forbearance contains the idea of being able to bear pain without complaint. Patience also includes remaining calm without becoming angry or irritated. It means not taking vengeance into your own hands—being slow to anger, relying on God.
Forgive: means to give to someone without expecting anything in return. You are generous on someone else’s behalf. You may forgive a debt or a sin committed against you.
Love: agape in this verse. It includes the idea of benevolence or goodwill. It is an affectionate regard for another. Often used to refer to God’s or Christ’s love for us.
Notice Paul says to cover all the other virtues with love. We are to acquire the virtues and wrap them up with love. When we do, the result is perfect unity. Ever wonder why we don’t have unity? Look for these virtues and ask if they are wrapped in love. If not, our unity will not be complete.
I pray we all pursue the virtues of a God’s chosen people. I pray we forgive one another. I pray each one of us wraps our virtues in the love of God for people. Pursue Godly virtues. Forgive one another. Wrap up Godly virtues with love. Pursue perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.