Colossians 3:13 has been a verse that I've meditated on for the past few years. I have it on a chalkboard in our bathroom so that I see it every day. My mom actually made this chalkboard for our wedding from a boring ol' calendar tray like THIS. She painted it with chalkboard paint, painted the edges green to match our wedding and added the bow. We used it as our bar menu and now it's used for Scripture or sweet notes to each other.
I try to remember these virtues in my daily life. What does that look like? I'm not 100% sure!
The verse before it says, "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves..." which signifies that these are characteristics of a "holy" person. Holy means to be set apart/different from the norm/IN the world, not OF the world.
Here are a few ways that I've been trying to apply these characteristics in my life:
Dictionary.com says that compassion is a deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune; accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. This can mean SO many things in my life from a friend going through a rough time, a starving child in Africa, victims of human trafficking or a neighbor that's hurting from a divorce. I'm not sure why but the Lord has given me a heart full of compassion, sometimes so deep that it hurts me, but I long to see justice served and the captives set free. About 6 years ago, I learned about human trafficking and women in the sex industry all over the world. I thought it meant that he wanted me to move to Thailand but He stopped me in my tracks and showed me that He wanted me to help here in Texas.
I volunteer with an organization called New Friends New Life that helps women come out of the sex industry and learn to live a self-sustainable life style. I am an accountant so I have a very analytical mind and have passion for teaching others how about money management. At NFNL, I am a budget counselor - I help women learn how to manage their money and pay their bills with the little that they make since they've taken a job outside of the "industry." I am so proud of the women I have counseled and the progress they've made! I thank the Lord for using me in their lives!
You know what comes to mind here? Being kind to those who annoy the heck out of us. Aren't there people in your life that drive you nuts? That push your buttons? Maybe a neighbor, a coworker, a family member, even a political figure? Maybe it's that person in line before you that's writing out a check for her groceries and you're thinking, "Come on lady! Get with the times! Where's your debit card?!"
We are called to be kind to those people. If we are lights for Christ, nothing good will come out of being unkind to her.
Hmmm...this one is tough. We are called to be humble in so many parts of our lives. For me, this means being humble in my marriage. When you get married, you have to learn to set aside your selfish desires, to look to the needs and desires of another person. Sometimes, this totally goes against what you would do as a single person.
I constantly have these thoughts whether it's in an argument, discussing financial decisions or talking about our future. But when you do life with another person as ONE, you must learn humility. Sometimes you have to put yourself aside and do what's best for the other person. I think it'll make you a stronger person in the long run and your marriage will be blessed. If both people are doing this, imagine how pleasant a marriage would be!
Gentleness kind of goes along with kindness for me. There are times that I feel like lashing out at someone who has betrayed me or offended me, but the Holy Spirit calms me down and says, "Kelli, love them like I would." Eek! Yeah, Jesus would treat them with gentleness. So many times while He was on Earth, Jesus rebuked someone with gentleness. He didn't lash out (ok, maybe in the temple with the money changers, but I believe that He still did it out of love), He didn't condemn, He didn't yell. Remember the woman caught in adultery? (John 8:1-11) He told the accusers to throw the first stone if they were without sin and then told her to "go and sin no more." I pray that I would be gentle with others like Jesus was.
You know what they say about patience, don't you?! "Don't pray for patience or God will give you something to be patient about!" This is definitely the risk in praying for patience, but what a blessing to learn it if given the opportunity! I feel like I'm constantly being taught about patience...which comes along with trusting the Lord. After I didn't get married at 22 like I thought I would, I had to be patient for NINE more years! I wouldn't change a thing except for maybe telling my 25 year old self to be patient, that He had greater things in store for me. Now I'm telling myself the same thing about becoming a mother. Patience is so hard, but SO rewarding and SO crucial in learning to trust God.
Which of these characteristics has been the hardest for you? How can you apply it to your life right now?
Thanks for digging into the Word with me today! I pray that the Lord spoke to you through it.
Thank you, Cassie, for hosting the awesome link up!