We live in a world that has its own priorities, many of which clash with the priorities of those who love and follow Jesus. Colossians 3:12-14 contains a beautiful description of qualities a follower of Christ exhibits. At the end of the list, believers are told to “put on love”. Our actions and reactions show the world where our priorities are.
Share with the group your favorite sports team. To what extremes have you gone to show your support for your team?
Read Colossians 3:12-14. Do you feel “chosen”, “holy”, and “dearly loved” by God? Why or why not? Regardless of how you feel, how can you live in the reality of these descriptions?
List the five character qualities with which Paul says we are to “clothe ourselves”. Which of these qualities comes most naturally to you in our current culture? Which is the most counter-cultural?
There are numerous Scriptures that discuss putting on clothing. Read the following passages, list what goes on (and/or comes off), and discuss with your group which passage impacts you the most.
- Isaiah 61:10
- Romans 13:12-14
- Galatians 3:27
- Ephesians 4:22-24
- Ephesians 6:13-18
- 1 Peter 5:5
What does it mean to “bear with each other”? Share an example of when you’ve had to “bear” with someone (or someone had to “bear” with you).
Read Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 6:37, Luke 17:3-4, and Ephesians 4:31-32. How important is it that believers forgive one another?
How often have you felt overwhelmed when you considered the mercy God showed in forgiving you? What can you do to remind yourself of God’s forgiveness in your life on a regular basis?
Is there anyone you need to forgive right now? What is keeping you from forgiving?
God’s high view of forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with His view on love. Read through the following verses, write what you learn about love from the passage, then pick one person in your group to share why loving one another is important to God.
- John 13:35
- Ephesians 4:15
- 1 John 3:16
- 1 John 4:7
- 1 Peter 4:8
If we at Fellowship all acted and reacted with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness, what impact do you believe we could have on those around us?
12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Do you sense you are lacking in any of the qualities described in Colossians 3:12-14? Think through and pray about the bullet points below, asking God to show you ways to reflect more of His compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and love.
- One thing I will begin doing this week is…
- One thing I will stop doing this week is…
- Who do I need to forgive?
- Who do I need to ask to forgive me?
- Think of a believer you find difficult to love. What is one thing you can do this week to better love that person?