Therefore, as God’s chosen people holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
(Colossians 3:12-14 NIV)
Every once in a while a specific section of Scripture really convicts me. The writer of Hebrews explained that the Word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12-13) and is capable of piercing the soul (paraphrase). I came across the verse above in my regular study on Tuesday evening and it really knocked me for a loop. I read it, and read it again and I realized that I fall so far short of being what God wants me to be, I must wonder if there is any hope for me at all. Do you fall short, too? Are you always compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient? Do you forgive when someone hurts you? Do you wear love everywhere you go? I cannot answer, “yes” to any of these questions. To some, that would mean that I must not be a real Christian; if that is the case, then no one is.
Scripture is meant to convict us, but it is also meant to teach and comfort us. We are all a work in progress. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us, but it is a conscious choice we make to ignore the direction He gives us. I cannot speak for anybody else, but it is often difficult for me to follow the Holy Spirit because of my own foolish pride. There are some people who take being kind and patient too far and end up getting walked on and taken advantage of. I push people away because I don’t have time to deal with the pain they cause. Meanwhile, those who get walked on are just as guilty of being prideful as I am.
Thankfully, just as Scripture can pierce the heart with uncomfortable truth, it can also heal. Recognizing those places where we fall short of God’s purpose for us is the beginning of growth. Once we’ve seen our own weakness then we can make the choice to let the Holy Spirit give us strength. A reality check is necessary. It doesn’t mean you see failure in your life and give up; it means you see failure and grow up.
Prayer – Father in Heaven, Please open my eyes to my failures and give me wisdom to learn from them. Help me to be the person You want me to be, teach me to serve You and allow my life to glorify You.