“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Col. 3:12-14)
In the fifth “Pull Up Your Pants” post we worked through holy anger against lust; now (in the last post of this series) I want to talk about holy, passionate, joyous love.
In the above passage, Paul lays down an list of traits that should characterize our Christian lives. He sums it up by commanding that we “put on love, which binds everything together.”
Why? We will not resist lust and live an increasingly Christ-like lifestyle by only hating lust, avoiding lust, killing lust’s root idols through repentance. God made us creatures who always serve the thing we love the most. Our lifestyle flows out of what we love. We lust, because we love something other than Christ.
That’s why Paul says that a Christian lifestyle flows from a passionate love for Christ. His work on the cross moves us to repentance and joy, just like great stories move us.
Have you ever thought about how you react to stories with great saviors? Braveheart, Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, Gladiator. They move us to hate our petty, foolish ways, and love virtue, self-sacrifice, and loyalty.
In the same way, when we set our eyes upon the cross we are moved to repent, marveling that we could reject such a loving God. We are also moved to rejoice, wondering at the grace and mercy of Christ. Our love is sparked, so that we replace our idolatrous love with the liberating, merciful, gracious, perfect, just love: Jesus Christ.
I want to end this series with a few lines from Holy Sonnet 14 by John Donne:
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
see other Pull Up Your Pants posts:
- A Series on Battling Sexual Immorality (1)
- What is sexual immorality? (2)
- Only the Rescued (3)
- Dirty Lies We Love to Believe (4)
- Be Killing Sin or Sin Will Be Killing You (5)
- Stop Sniffing Your Vomit (6)
- Assured Christians Resist Lust (7)
- Replace Lust With Love (8)