April 10, 2019
And above all these, put on love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Love Above All
Colossians 3 talks about a whole host of Christian qualities that we need in our new life with Christ ─ putting away our former sinful nature, putting to death sexual immorality, keeping away from anger, malice, slander and not telling lies but embracing kindness, humility, meekness, patience and forgiveness. Above all these characteristics, Colossians 3:14 emphasizes love. We can see love as the glue that keeps the above ensemble of Christ-like character traits together.
Even in our church and among our Christian brothers and sisters, differences in opinions and political affiliations, racial, social and cultural differences and misunderstandings can contribute to divisions, strife and our falling into sin. Despite our differences, flaws and peculiarities, here especially, as Paul writes, is where our love for each other can bind us together in unity as one body in Christ.
However, the scope of this verse should not just be limited to our Christian brothers and sisters. Let us be reminded that love is a fundamental attribute of our faith:
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8)
We are often confronted with challenges in life ─ problems in our relationships, difficulties at work, financial hardships, all of which divert our attention from our divine focus. In addition, bad encounters with people who we feel have clearly wronged us (even within our own Christian circles, let alone with non-Christians and other outsiders), make it an almost impossible task to clothe ourselves in love. (Unless of course it simply manifests itself as a superficial smile that does not come from the heart!)
But Christ demands much more from us than such shallow façades. For we are also told: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1Peter 4:8) It seems that this act of sincere obedience, not only brings warmth and light to others but benefits us immensely as well.
If we only show our love to family members, friends and colleagues who are good and affectionate to us, then we are no better than non-believers. Conversely, when we put on love sincerely, we simultaneously put off sin.
Finally, let us not forget our Lord, Master and Savior who demonstrated the ultimate example of sacrificial love.
Prayer: Dear Lord, cover us with your love that it may penetrate our hearts and shine out to all around us. May it bind us all as one in you.