Whenever we feel isolated or dismissed by others we should remember that we are "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved."
Paul follows this affirmation with an instruction to "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; that we should forgive one another, and above all, put on love."
My challenge was that we use these seven virtues as guides for prayer in the new year- that each day we could ask God to help us grow in each characteristic:
- Monday- Lord, help me be more compassionate
- Tuesday- Lord, help me be more kind
- Wednesday- Lord, help me be more humble
- Thursday- Lord, help me be more gentle
- Friday- Lord, help me be more patient
- Saturday- Lord, help me be more forgiving
- Sunday- Lord, help me be more loving
I closed- and close- with Paul's beautiful prayer in vv. 15-17:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.