Put on Love


We can’t simply hope for good feelings toward others; we need to “put on love” and choose to forgive.

Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people.” Colossians 3:13–15 (ceb)

I’m a very tolerant person—of people who agree with me. People who don’t agree with me, however—people who question things I do, vote differently than I do, interpret the Bible differently than I do—these people annoy me. Since they haven’t done anything specific against me, I don’t feel any need to forgive them; I can merely harbor a low-grade animosity. One group of people that bugs me a lot are those who skip over this verse on tolerance and seem to highlight the Bible verses about correction and rebuke. How can they be so judgmental when the Bible says don’t judge, but forgive?

I hope you’re laughing at the irony here! After all, if I’m not tolerant of people whom I think are intolerant, I’m just as intolerant as they are. Not to mention hypocritical. Jesus asks His followers to be deliberate in how we relate to other people. We can’t simply hope for good feelings toward others; we need to “put on love” and choose to forgive. We have to surrender control of our hearts to Jesus. This verse asks us to take specific, deliberate actions that will allow us to behave as Jesus would.

So often, in our churches or small groups, we long for unity, but we want it to happen without our effort. It doesn’t until we “put on love”—that is, deliberately choose to take loving action toward those who we need to forgive.

FAITH STEP: How do you truly feel about people who disagree with you, or someone you have a complaint against? Ask Jesus to help you honestly forgive that person.

Written by Keri Wyatt Kent

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