And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:14 (NIV)
The admonition, “Put on” implies many things:
- Lack. We do not have it so we put it on. Thanks be to God, He gives us the capacity to love. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
- Protection. We put on an upper garment to feel warm in the cold. The decision to love protects relationships and settles various issues that divide. “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” Matthew 9:13 ESV
- Intentionality. To decide to behave in love is pro-active thinking. To outsmart the devil prowling around seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), the strategy is to choose beforehand, no matter what, the mindset of love as in 1 Corinthians 13: patience, kindness, bearing all things, believing, hoping, enduring all things.
- Take out. As we have the ability to put on, we also have the ability to take out. Many times we take out the option of love and give-in to the tendency to envy, to boast, to be arrogant, to be rude, to insist on my way, to be irritable or resentful, to rejoice at wrongdoing – as cautioned in 1 Corinthians 13. But we always remember we are God’s offspring. “In Him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28)
We plant the seed of intentionality, of putting on the lifestyle of love the way our Lord Jesus exemplified to us, notwithstanding the cross. For God has given us the spirit of power, of love and of sound mind. (ref: 2 Timothy 1:7)
Lord, let this reader and I be “All for One”, and, as a result, help us to put on love.
This is the third in the “Love One Another” series of blog posts and is written by Elizabeth Veñegas, on staff with our Filipino partner, The Center for Community Transformation.