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Christian Virtues found in a Transformed Life

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. 14 Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

As we look at how believer’s lives are transformed, Paul continues on and gives a list of characteristics that Christians should exhibit. Paul starts off with a reminder that believers are “God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved.” Originally, this designation was for the nation of Israel, but because of Christ’s work on the cross, now everyone who believes in Him as their Savior can now be a part of God’s family, whom He loves dearly.

Because of this relationship, believers are to exhibit these characteristics as God displays these following characteristics in verse 12. First, compassion, as stated by Max Anders, “heartfelt sympathy for those suffering or in need.” Second, kindness, the display of compassion by caring for others needs with good deeds. Third, humility, to remove pride from oneself and have a servant attitude. Fourth, gentleness, controlled power, restraint. Finally, patience, being able to endure difficult situations fueled by hope.

With these virtues within a believer’s life, Paul then gives two actions that believers should have when interacting with other people: “bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another.” The natural human reaction when someone slights you is to get revenge and/or be filled with resentment against them. Yet, as “the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.” If Christ went to the cross to die for everyone who hated Him so that they all have the opportunity to experience forgiveness, and if you are a believer in Christ, then, as Christ had forgiven you of your sins, so too should you be able to do so.

Finally, in verse 14, Paul states that the most important virtue in a transformed life is “love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Back to Anders, “When love is present, there is harmony and unity in the community.” The very reason why Christ did what He did on the cross was because of God’s love (see John 3:16). Believers are united by their love of Christ. As you grow deeper in your relationship and love for Christ, you will grow to love those around you as Christ has loved them, and it will spur you to action, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.


Isaac De Guzman


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