"Put on therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as the Lord forgave you, so you also do." Colossians 3:12-13 NHEBIn our last post, we considered these verses, through the compassion part. It might be wise to re-read that post to remember what was written. Now I want us to look at the person we have become in Jesus. We will learn to live in the attitude of heart described here, but in the meantime in the process of our learning, the real work is already accomplished in us in Christ. So we are just called here to become on the outside, what He has already accomplished in our new image on the inside.
So to be a person of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility and perseverance is to be a person like Christ. But just what is that like - really. Well, it is not a worm. Let's understand that right off the bat. The ideas of feeling sympathy and empathy for others, being "lowly," kind, etc... is not being a door mat for others to use and abuse. It is the exact opposite of that. To be kind and lowly just means we do whatever in Jesus our hands find to do. No one is above anyone else. We all are servants, regardless of our "position," or title. Those things are important only along authority lines, when it comes to doing what needs to be done - we are all to participate. No one is to high to bend, no one is to low to include - all are to be servants of one another.
The difference between a door-mat and a servant is huge. A door-mat simply lays there and takes the dirt other put on it and then, in human terms, complains about it. The servant, however, bends down with a basin of water, removes the dirt and then pours the dirt out with the water. Nothing sticks and it is total joy. I think this is awesome. We are free to serve one another in Jesus with the Spirit. Then release it all. He has thought of everything.
As to forgiveness, that is our total nature in Jesus. We can become in our hearts the ones who instantly say when wronged,"Father, forgive them. They do not understand." Again, we learn to be people who do not let anything "stick." choosing not to forgive is just not an option. It interferes with everything the new person in us desires and needs to flow in the life we have been given. It is nice when someone knows they need to ask forgiveness, but our forgiveness given to them, is really not for them. It is for us to stay free (again, allowing nothing to "stick" that will interfere with the life of Spirit fullness).
So since we are like that, we can begin to feel and move in those directions. Believing that new person is already us is the first and most important part of the process. Living in these matters becomes our faith's participation in His already accomplished work. Gifted, empowered, released! WOW - this is marvelous.