Putting On Love
As Christ followers we are called to clothe ourselves in love, among other things, but what is love? And how do we display it in our lives?
In my last post I wrote about putting on a Garment of Praise, in this post I wanted to share about another thing that we are told to put on.
Dressing for your day has to be intentional. If you’re not properly prepared for the work ahead you could ruin nice clothes cleaning or working in the yard or get soaking wet in rain. We have to put on our clothes, they don’t just appear on us by themselves.
We Must Dress For The Day Spiritually As Well
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
These verses tell us to put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and to bind them all together, to put on the day’s ‘belt’, love.
As followers of Christ we are commanded to love. All of these virtues are brought together by love.
If we love someone, we are kind to them, we are more patient with them. You get the picture.
What IS Love
The word ‘love’ is thrown around a lot these days. We ‘love’ everything from people to foods to movies to bands, but what does that word mean?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Now, some of these attributes overlap with the verses from Colossians 3 we just read.
They do not come naturally. Children have to learn to be patient and kind. Even as adults we have to learn to be content and polite.
This kind of love, agape, comes from God. It is only with His help that we can possess these qualities, but as Christ followers, we should strive to allow the Spirit to display these qualities in our lives. It is not always fair to us. Not what the world says we should do, but it is a mark of a Christ follower.
An exercise I like is substituting your name for ‘love’ as you read 1 Corinthians 13.
- Can I say that I am patient and kind?
- I do not envy or boast?
- Am I arrogant or rude?
- Do I insist on my own way?
- I am not irritable?
- Am I resentful?
- I do not rejoice in wrong doing?
- I rejoice in truth?
- Do I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things?
Honestly, as much as I have done that exercise, it still hurts making me realize how short I fall. I have to remember multiple times a day to ask for God’s help. For Him to pour out His love on me so that it just overflows onto those around me. That is the only way it happens.
It is a process, but one that is well worth it.