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As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
My Sister and I
My mother had an enormous amount of patience. As I recall, there were few things that really threw her for a loop. But having said that, every now and then, my sister and I would push mom to the brink. You see, my sister and I were separated by gender, two years and an entirely different way of dealing with the world. For example, as I remember it, I was the one who was calm, logical and nearly always right, while my sister was emotional, erratic and nearly always wrong, that is, when her opinion differed from mine. At least, that’s how I remember it. Anyway, our differences resulted in more than a few knock down, drag outs. And sometimes, when I was calmly explaining my well-thought out position and my sister was going nuts, mom would come into the room and simply shout, “Why can’t you two get along.”
And I’ll tell you, sometimes I feel like saying the same thing myself, especially when I listen to folks with different political opinions go at it or when I watch husbands and wives argue over things that would probably resolve themselves if given a chance or when I have to deal with Christians who believe that theological minutia is more important than Jesus Christ. But when these battles erupt, I think there’s no better place for guidance than the verses I read from Colossians. Of course, there’s a lot in this passage, but I believe the bottom line is captured in the last verse: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” You see, if we focus on the one who loves us in spite of ourselves, then we might weather whatever difference might arise and actually do what my sister and I found so challenging to do.