Colossians 3 verses 12 through 14
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.
14 And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond.
Therefore – meaning that these next thoughts are based on the previous thoughts that the Colossians were clothed with the new man who is being renewed in knowledge according the image of Christ who is all and in all.
as the elect of God – meaning these Colossians and all who believe of the groups mentioned in the previous verse were chosen of God. They were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
holy – simply meaning set apart for God. In God’s eyes, the Colossians were set apart as a people of His own. 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
and dearly loved – meaning His elect are loved with great fondness, they are His beloved.
clothe yourselves – meaning it was a command, an action expected, a responsibility of the Colossians themselves to cover and add to their character and behavior the below virtues.
with a heart of mercy – meaning tender-heartfelt thoughts of pity and compassion toward others. Empathetic to those who are hurting.
kindness – meaning friendly and deliberately doing good toward others with a familial feeling. From the word kin.
humility – meaning a modest or lowly opinion of oneself. A sense of one’s moral littleness. Not thinking that you are better than others. The English word is from the Latin, humus, meaning Earth. The opposite of pride. Also knowing that all you are and possess is from God for his glory.
gentleness – meaning a mild disposition; meekness; not harsh, nor violent, nor forceful. Submitting to the will of God in adverse providence.
patience – greek lexicons define this word as long suffering, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance. International Std Bible Encyc says patience implies suffering, enduring, or waiting, as a determination of the will and not simply under necessity.
bearing with one another – meaning having patience for another; tolerating them; accepting them; enduring them; to put up with them; forbearing them. Some are very slow to reform, and we need to bear with them while they are being sanctified, and they with us. Also in a different sense, to stand with another and help bear their burden.
and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others –within the word forgive is the words ‘for’ and ‘give’, the English etymology dictionary says ‘for’ means ‘completely’ Therefore, to forgive is to ‘completely give’; to completely give up desire and power to punish. Additionally, The International Bible encyclopedia says this word means to pardon from an offense. Therefore, just as God has forgiven us, so we should completely give others a pardon for their offense toward us.
And to all these virtues add love – meaning not that love is tacked onto the end as an afterthought, but love is the motivation behind the previous virtues. This love is an affection, a goodwill, a brotherly love, a charitable spirit toward others. This love is the strong desire for the well being of another.
which is the perfect bond – not a corrupt bond, but a finished, complete, mature binding, knitting, banding, and cementing of the saints together.
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Are you Clothed with Virtues?
I have chosen you, and I dearly love you. Now it’s your responsibility to clothe yourself with these virtues. These virtues will change how you think about yourself and how you will think and behave toward others.
Put on these clothes, and be….
Merciful, tender hearted, empathetic, and compassionate.
Kind, friendly, treating others like family.
Humble, modest, low. Don’t think your character is better than others. Always give Me the glory for all you are and all you possess.
Be gentle, meek, mild. Trust and submit to My will. Don’t rebel against Me because of adversity.
Choose to be patient and long suffering while enduring life, your faults, and the faults of others.
Stand and bear one another’s burdens. Forebear, accept, tolerate, and put up with the adversities of life, with your own faults, and the faults of others.
Forgive, completely grant a pardon to those who have offended you. Completely release the desire to punish them. Vengeance is Mine, not yours – let it go!
And most importantly, love one another. Possess a genuine desire for the well being of others that your relationships will be perfectly bound together.