12Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.Colossians 3:12-14
In the morning – as nearly all people – I choose what to put on for the day. I admit, the last year I have worn more leggings and t-shirts than in previous years. More recently, I turn to other areas of my closet … jeans, sweaters, dresses. I even spend time applying a bit of make-up before I go out.
Just as I choose what clothes to put on, I choose the character qualities I put on. Paul’s words to the Christians in Colosse spoke to me today. He advises that we clothe ourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. But what happens when I slip up in those areas? What if my kindness gets a hole in the knee or my patience is a bit wrinkly? Have I failed?
Nope! He says we should make allowance for that in others. I’m not always going to get it right. As a matter of fact, even as I write this, I haven’t gotten it right today. I can think of at least three people that I apologized to for words quickly spoken, an unkindness or un-gentleness. I didn’t set out to do those things. It just happened.
As much as I need them to forgive me when I am offensive, I want to practice forgiving others who offend me. I want to make allowance for the faults of others. It doesn’t mean I excuse the behavior; I just remember that I, too, make mistakes.
Perhaps you offended someone or are offended by someone. Either way, how can you make allowance for the faults of others? Does it help to remember that you have been forgiven, so forgiving others is the next right step?
As an overcoat today, put on love. Love for God, love for yourself and love for others!