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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12–14
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (NRSV)

What I love most about this passage is that it encompasses my favorite characteristic of love, which is patience. In 1 Corinthians, love is described first as being patient. Love is understanding, love is forgiving, love is gentle, but when love is patient, it brings about the “peace of Christ” that “controls your heart,” which Paul later talks about in verse 15.

Sometimes we put too many expectations on love, overlooking what it means to do simple acts of daily kindness. Paul does a wonderful job of defining a holy person: “one who walks quietly on the earth in a God-like manner.”

Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” Recently the Center for Life and Learning went on an overnight trip to Springfield, which I helped plan and accompany. On our way there, they placed us on the wrong bus, causing us to arrive three hours later than expected. I was so worried about the delay, but to my surprise, the overall reaction among the travelers was “It is out of your control, so there is no sense in worrying about it.” The understanding, forgiveness, and patience that were shown to me that day reflected Paul’s thoughts on being a Christian.

If we try to live our lives with this gentle and patient spirit, we will truly have the “peace of Christ.”

Lord I pray that every day you help me see how I can reflect your wonderful love in more kind ways, always being an example of what it means to be a humble, kind, and patient Christian. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Co-Director of the Center for Life and Learning

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