Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
In his letter to the Colossians the apostle Paul lists some qualities a Christian should have. They should be merciful, kind, humble, gentle, patient, forgiving and loving towards others. He reminds them to let Christ rule in their hearts so all can live in peace and be thankful towards each other.
One very cold day I was walking out of my office building to grab some lunch. As I walked out the door a man who appeared to be homeless stopped and asked me if I could give him some money for something to eat. I usually won’t give money because sometimes there are alternate purposes for the money, such as drugs or alcohol. In fact I once witnessed a man trying to return a meal someone bought him because he wanted to buy cigarettes. So I asked this man if I could walk with him to buy him something to eat instead of giving him money. The man quickly said yes and I pointed to a few of the restaurants around and asked which one he wanted to go to. He said he wanted to go to the chicken place because he saw they had a sign up for a chicken wing special. I walked with the man to the restaurant and when we got to the door he didn’t want to go in. He just stopped and froze at the door. I asked him why he didn’t want to go in and he said usually they would kick him back out on the street, especially when he was just going in to get warm. So I told him I would walk in with him, pay for his meal and tell the people in the restaurant he was a welcome customer who could take his time eating. I let the man order and I knew when he asked for 8 biscuits along with his wing special that he was hungry and was going to save a few biscuits for later. I told him to get some warm coffee, find a place to sit and enjoy his meal in the peace and comfort of the warm restaurant. I was ensured by those who worked in the restaurant they would give him plenty of time to eat and warm up. For me it was one of those eye opening experiences that we need to be patient and gentle with people. There are people with real needs and problems who are looking for help. They need someone to be kind, gentle and patient. I even got to tell him Christ loved him because I knew Christ was using me to help that man. What a blessing I gained and how thankful I was I didn’t just pass the man by.