This morning I was out shopping for a card and while browsing I saw a magnet that said, “Love-the perfect bond of unity” Col. 3: 14. I began to think about the truth in that little statement. Love is a very powerful force, just think about when you first find that special someone in life. You are drawn to them in a way that is different than any other. You go out of your way to do nice things for them, to put your best foot forward and to make a good impression.
As I considered it, I decided to look up the reference and its context when I returned home. The verse itself is: “Above all, [put on] love—the perfect bond of unity.” In order to put it in proper context I wanted to look at the surrounding verses.
“12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
Not only is that a tall order but it is so counter-cultural in the world we live in today. Remember when you hit that age- your Mom would buy you a new outfit she picked out just for you and you’re thinking, “I’m not wearing that, you have to be kidding.” We wanted to follow our own sense of style and do our own thing and we are still not that different today.
We live in a world that has taught us to think of ourselves first, look out for #1. Don’t let others get the best of you, stand up for yourself and make sure you are treated well and respected. God wants us to have a different mindset, in His economy we are called to do almost the exact opposite of what the world teaches. He tells us love is always in style no matter what our circumstances are. It’s pretty easy to walk in love and be pleasant when our lives are going just as we want them to go, but what happens when our circumstances are less than what we desire?
I don’t know about you but I find myself in those less than pleasant circumstances as much, if not more than I find myself in the pleasant ones. You know those times when you are pushed and pulled in several directions all at once and do not have time to get everything done that needs doing. There are times when everyone needs you and you just need a break. When these times hit God still wants us to: dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.
It’s at these times we really want to dress ourselves and do what is pleasing to us. What we really need is a few minutes alone to take a few deep breaths, pause to calm our spirit, and to put on the garment that He provided – love. Love will bring out the compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, even-temper, putting others ahead of oneself, and forgiveness. When we find these things missing in our lives, maybe we need to look at our love quotient. Are our hearts divided between our own selfish desires and others? Are we dressed in His best for us or are we dressing ourselves?
My sweet husband and I recently went to see “Seven Days in Utopia”. It was a great movie and had a terrific message. One thing I took away from it was the SFT principal. It stands for see, feel, and trust. The main character learned that we first need to see where we (the ball in the movie) are going. We need to see our behavior lining up with compassion, kindness, humility, etc. Then we need to feel it. What will it feel like to make it happen? And lastly, we need to trust that it will happen.
Can we see ourselves dressed in the wardrobe that God has picked out for us? Can we feel ourselves being compassionate, kind, humble, having discipline and quiet strength even in the difficult times? Can we see ourselves being second place and content, forgiving easily? And can we trust ourselves to follow through wearing all of these? The key- love- it is the perfect bond of unity. If we walk in love, all the rest will follow.