“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NLT
We are holy, the consciousness of our status as Saints should trigger a willingness to be extremely merciful, obviously kind, humble, gentle in our relationship and communication with people and very patient with everyone.
This is the hallmark of Holiness. Our Holiness should reflect strongly in our relationship with people, it is not merely displayed in the lifting of our hands, in the obvious manner that we pray or the fact that we study the Bible for several hours. Let’s explain these traits of Holiness further.
1. Tenderhearted Mercy
To be tenderheartedly merciful means that we are easily moved to love others, it is something the world considers a weakness but in God’s kingdom, it is a trait of Holiness. Jesus looked down at those who were crucifying him, those who insisted “gives us Barnabas and take Jesus”, but he was still moved to love and pity for them.
Tenderhearted mercy also means compassion and forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. So, while we may have every opportunity and justification to retaliate, punish or hurt someone, we show the person love instead.
Kindness is a very common word, too common but its meaning is less explained. To be kind is to be friendly, to be receptive and to have a good manner of approach. There are people you see and you are sceptical to approach them at first sight because they are mean. Holy people are friendly and easy to access.
Kindness also means to be considerate, to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and be generous towards others.
Humility isn’t saying “I am a humble person”, it is the testimony of others about you. It is freedom from the shackles of pride and arrogance. To be humble means that you don’t see yourself as more important than others. These days, some of our doctrines put us in a position where we see ourselves as more important than others, look down on others and justify it with scriptures. That’s not the way to go. As holy people, we must walk in holiness by having a modest view about ourselves, we must express it and humility is one of the expressions of holiness.
Being gentle is one of the things people have considered a weakness because they think it makes people override us. To be gentle means to be tolerant, to be mild in our manners and to be soft in our actions. When we are gentle, we are letting God have control.
How do we let God have control by our gentleness? We are very powerful beings and can decide to hurt others in our words and actions but gentleness puts a restriction on how much of this power we exercise, it is also like humility, we are saying “Lord, take charge of this. If I should do it my way, I may cause others harm”.
Patience is the ability to tolerate people’s delay in becoming who we want them to be or doing what they ought to do. It also means to be tolerant of problems and sufferings without becoming anxious or angry. We cannot say that we are patient with people when we are already vexed by their slow response.
Patience is also the ability to keep playing our roles in the lives of others regardless of lack of appreciation. It means to condone people’s weakness and be hopeful of their future.
So, next time you hit your chest and say “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” be sure to know what is expected of you. You MUST clothe yourself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I call you blessed.