Scripture: Read Colossians 3:5-17.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a community in which every person was compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, and nice to one another? Plus when a problem does sneak in, each one simply forgives and continues to love? Hmm. Makes you think of heaven doesn’t it? Exactly what we are warming up for: full-time heaven.

But God starts off with us rookies who may have some lingering anger, jealousy, and insecurities, as well as old hurts and reaction patterns. Or maybe a habit of expressing our opinion of one person to someone else. Another Hmm.

If you read the passage carefully, you will notice that Paul is speaking to the same group: the church, the body of Christ. I’m glad he said, “If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

I know many Christians who live apart from the church precisely because they have disobeyed God’s cure: the cross. Forgiveness. Love lived out. This is not a pretty sight: marinating in bitterness makes for a very unhappy, unfruitful life.

I know the people who have offended me, but do I know those I’ve offended? Not always. The church is composed of every sort of rescue person known to man, and we are all following Jesus but at different maturity levels. We are the ones to whom Paul says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14).

Love is the most costly thing on earth. God is love, and He is building a people who are learning to love, to forgive, to care, to reach, to obey, to serve. It’s the Bride of Christ. It’s us. Together.

Thought Questions:

1. As you reread Paul’s “put on” list, which character traits do you want to increase in your life?____________________________________________________________________________

2. Are you carrying any old resentments from your experience in church life?______________________________________

3. If so, what will you do about it? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Do you make yourself spiritually accountable to someone on a regular basis?_________________________

Prayer Time:

• Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you are carrying any resentments.

• Bring any sin to the cross by praying through Galatians 2:20.

• Spend some moments thanking Jesus for including you in His death.

• Now just put yourself in Father’s hands and rest.

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