One evening, a group of teens were discussing where they wanted to go that night. When one girl suggested they go to a certain café, another girl said to her date, “I’d rather not go there, so please take me home. “Are you afraid your father will hurt you?” one girl asked sarcastically. “No,” said the first girl, I’m afraid I might hurt my father.” Love for her father drove her to please her father. Love should drive all our relationships, especially among God’s people. The Apostle Paul helps us understand what life should be like in the new community Christ has established. We read his words in Colossians 3, “In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts… And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” That self-giving attitude fosters peace and harmony in any relationship.
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