12 God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. 13 Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. 14Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together.
15Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. 16 Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.
Paul summarizes his thoughts so far in his letter to the Colossians. We are to have an attitude of gratitude to God at all times for the great gift of Jesus in our lives. As in daily life, our inner attitude finds its way out in verbal and practical expression.
We are God’s covenant people, and when we gladly accept this role, it has practical implications. The shrill cries of the world implore me to think of myself first. Feathering my personal nest is pre-eminent when this mindset prevails. However when we live with God at the center, we are now free, aided by the Holy Spirit, to choose attitudes and ambitions, which truly satisfy and bring peace to our hearts, namely gentleness, kindness, humility and meekness. As we seek to reflect Jesus in this way and take on our new family likeness, we find we are able to do even more. Now we have patience with others and can forgive, whereas our former person would have little capacity for this. Love is now the oil that soothes, heals and enables our relationships, bringing peace. Like the oil in a well-oiled machine, love is the factor that unifies the body and prevents rough spots from causing friction.
And so, today, let us seek to do life with the mind of Christ. James tells us how to do this. “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). We are to immerse ourselves – thoughts, words and actions – in a glad hearted representation of Jesus, enabled by the Holy Spirit. When we are thinking and acting in this way, not only are we pleasing God, but we are finding our lives to be rich, vibrant and colorful. We find in fact that peace rules our hearts and minds.
Father God, Today may I immerse myself in you. May I take on more of your family likeness. Help me to let go of self and place you and your desires at the center. May my attitudes and actions today accurately reflect who you are and help others to seek you because of this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.