Love is like Suspenders?
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over (or above) all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
What do you know? A passage about love that isn’t 1 Corinthians 13. I was scanning through the New Testament looking for something to say about forgiveness and yet here, Paul reminds me that love is the key. And no wonder when you think about it. There’s so many fun clothing analogies to experiment with here. Notice the language from Paul, “clothe yourselves” and “put on”. It would probably help if I understood fashion. Love is like… a belt? No… Love is like suspenders! An overcoat. I don’t think that’s it either. If you can think of a good clothing analogy for love binding together compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness together then please let me know.
But you get the concept. Love is the thing! If you don’t have love, and I think particularly the love that God gives us by His Spirit. A love that knows the inherent value of the created image of God. The love that recognises the desperate need of humanity. The love that springs and reflects the Trinitarian love of the Father, Son & Spirit. If you don’t have that love, how can you truly forgive someone. Forgiveness needs to spring from love. I can see a way that you might be able to forgive without love. A forgiveness that comes from your own need to forgive. However, this is not the forgiveness that God requires of us. Let’s be a people that forgive in love.
So, if you are struggle to forgive someone today, or if you think your forgiveness might actually be self-serving why not ask God for love.