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Christian Behavior

In Colossians 3:12-17 Paul gives us some guidelines as to how we as Christians should live. In verse 17 we read that we are to do and say everything with thankful hearts and in Jesus name. Wow, if we examined our every action and word in that light, we would need no further instruction.

Back in verse 12, we are exhorted to be merciful but also to do it in a tender manner. The apostle James said that God desired mercy before judgement (James 2:13). Is that worth another wow? In verses 12-13 of Colossians 3, Paul also directs us to be kind; that’s goodness in action. He says we must be patient and meek. Meekness is not being a mouse but describes a powerful man or woman of God who’s will and emotions are under control.

We are to walk in humility. This is being teachable; seeing ourselves as of no significance on our own but the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21), in whom (Christ) and with his strength, we can do all things (Phil 4:13). We must forgive, just as Christ forgave.

In verse 14, Paul gives us his most important instruction and that is to love as God loves us, with his unconditional love. In verses 15 and 16 we are told to allow God’s peace to rule in our hearts. How do we do that? Well, in verse 16, it says that we should have the word of God on the inside of us (Ps 119:165). This means taking the time to study and meditate the word to the point that it is such a part of us that it flows from us to others in songs of praise and adoration of our God. If we have the word growing in us, the Holy Spirit can respond to the faith we have in that word and develop all the attributes above in us.

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