One of my favorite winter coats of all time was one my mother-in-law purchased for me. She called me one day shortly before lunch to ask me to meet her in another part of town. She had found a coat for me and wanted me to try it on.
It took a little maneuvering to get all four kids dressed warmly, in the car, and across the city to the store. But we did it. Why? Because I recognized this gesture as her way of showing that she loved me dearly. She had thought of me, had chosen something special that suited me, and wanted to give it to me.
Each time I wore that beautiful coat, it was a visible reminder to me of our close relationship. Any “inconvenience” I experienced to obtain the coat, like interrupting my day or traveling with kids, was more than repaid by receiving tangible evidence of her whole-hearted love for me, her “chosen” daughter.
In today’s devotion, we see characteristics of whole-hearted love distinctly presented in Scripture:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:12-13, NIV).
I love that the Bible depicts these characteristics as something we should wear! Clothing is more than what you put on your person outwardly. Clothing is what you wear inwardly as well. These characteristics portray Christ in us. Our behaviors toward others demonstrate these attributes.
Because God dearly loves us, we should mirror His whole-hearted love for us in our actions. I want others to see God in me by the qualities of whole-hearted love I display—compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forbearance. I am bearing all things. Forgiving, as I’ve been forgiven.