But Above All (Colossians 3:5-17)

By Amy Fisher

Colossians 3:5-17 NKJV

     Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,  in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

     Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

In the third chapter of Colossians, we see Paul listing off several evils of the world to avoid as Christians. No sexual immorality. No jealousness. No anger or lying. Someone might read this passage and be overwhelmed with all the things they must avoid all day long to keep a lifestyle faithful to God.

Even more overwhelming, the paragraph immediately after lists all the good things to do. Be humble. Be patient. Be kind and forgiving. Why can’t we just have one rule to follow?

We do.

Colossians 3:14But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Paul reminds us of these other laws that are repeated earlier in the Bible, but the VERY first thing we need to do is put on love. Notice that Paul doesn’t say to ‘find love in your heart’ or to ‘be in love’, we are to love intentionally. We are to work to love others in the midst of our busy lives.

This might seem difficult to do but God is the greatest helper.

 He sent Jesus to save us from our inevitable sin. God is always around us and always listening. If we look back to what God did for His people and how he takes care of us, we can realize how He loves us unconditionally. From there, we can learn to ‘put on love’, and all those other things fall into place.

How can we be angry if we love the person that made us mad? How can we lie when we know that the truth grows healthy relationships? Love brings about kindness and humility in a much easier way than forcing it.

Lord, remind us of Your great love. Help us to then show Your love to the world in all its glory. You never leave us. You lift us up when we are down. You want us to spend eternity with You. We will never deserve You and the amazing gift of salvation Your Son gave to us. Remind us when we are tired and ready to quit that You will never give up on us. You provide us with all the strength we need to press on. When we love others, we fall right into Your plan. Showing compassion makes such a major difference on the people we interact with. We want to show our friends and family who You are and how you care for them. We want to follow You on the path of righteousness. Lord, we draw near to you. Teach us love like You. Amen.