Our scripture this morning is Colossians 3:12-17.

Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Paul writes here of attributes and attitudes that God wants in our lives. He gives us a longer list of these fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22. Jesus showed us how to be in perfect love with our brothers and sisters. While we are not perfect, we can try to love one another as He commanded.

This is a wonderful instruction but one we often find hard to apply in the world today. We are in disagreement and conflict over so many issues. Our problem is that we often want our own solutions rather than God’s, and we rationalize ways to believe that our answer is His.

The way around this is prayer, asking God to speak into our hearts and lives that we may act as He intends as we work toward His goals. Humans sometimes say “the end justifies the means” but God is both the end and the means. May we remember all the gifts we have been given and use them for the purpose He has for us.

Gracious God, we are a stubborn and contentious people, but we know we are Your people. Forgive us for our disobedient thoughts and actions and bless us to bring the Good News to everyone. Amen.

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