A couple posts ago I described the virtues that God wants all Christians to pursue in relationships with each other: compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience (Colossians 3:12). Now I want to draw your attention to the over arching motivation for us to excel in this virtues:
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14 NIV)
LOVE. It’s a little four-letter word that we use all the time, but we do not always practice it as thoroughly as we talk about it. For the Christian love needs to be not just a concept, but a consistent reality. We need to spend hours and hours pondering how best to love others and to show that love to them. We need to be constantly on guard for unloving attitudes. We must never tolerate selfishness, pride, self-righteousness, or jealousy in our own hearts. We must be quick to forgive each other, and be slow to judge. We must do what is best for others instead of what is best for ourselves.
The automatic result, if Christians were to follow this principle of love, is that we would be bound “all together in perfect unity.” Sincere, Christ-centered love is adequate to help us work through all debates and disagreements we might have with each other. When ever you are in a position to disagree with another Christian, make sure that you have prepared your heart before hand in a spirit of love no matter how “right” your case is, since heresy is the result of selfishness even more than it is the result of illogical thinking. If your heart is darkened by hate you will not be able to see clearly in matters of doctrine or anything else.