Continuing my thoughts on the Colossian letter, I come to Colossians 3:14:
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
To appreciate the depth of this verse, we ought look back to the immediately preceding verses to gain the proper context.
Paul has encouraged Christians to dress themselves in certain qualities. Namely, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness (Colossians 3:12, 13). All of these are high-grade qualities and closely match what Paul told the Galatians in Galatians 5:22, 23. I think we would all agree that this is a list of characteristics many people seek for today. Aren’t these the kind of traits you desire in people who you work with? As you might expect however, Paul moves further and draws us higher with his writings.
But after listing these qualities, Paul next makes plain that love is even more important. The Greek word here is a derivative of AGAPE, a word you have often heard discussed. It speaks of selfless, sacrificial love or the caliber shown by Jesus toward us. What is interesting here is that this love is an all encompassing love. It involves everyone of the characteristics mention in verses 12 and 13. The person who possesses and exhibits true love will demonstrate everyone of those qualities.
Stop for just a second and think of someone you know who possess these characteristics. Aren’t they a person of love? Doesn’t “love” just seem to describe them? Likewise, a faithful Christian ought be known as a person of love. Can we go so far as to say a person without love cannot be a faithful Christian? I think so. We must be pressing toward the goal of true love in every relationship we have.
Before we end, we should think of the nature of the unity mention here. It isn’t artificial but it is a true unity of spirit. I think of the unity between the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as the best example of unity. According to Paul, it’s the true love in a Christian that brings forth true unity.
Would you be a true disciple? Then learn to love, display the qualities of love and help build unity in Christ Jesus.