I heard someone say that "we hurt the ones we love the most." I suppose this is true. After all, we are in relationship, we know each other, care about each other. You might be mystified and perhaps a little hurt if a stranger on the street came up and insulted you but then imagine how you'd feel if that same insult came from someone you love - your brother, sister, parent, aunt, uncle, spouse, etc. It's a lot more hurtful from them, isn't it?
In Colossians 3:1-17, we find a number of commands but today a few stand out to me - "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." A simple list of five character traits, yet so hard to put into practice. To "clothe yourself" is to make an intentional decision, something you put upon yourself. You have to choose into it, it will not be forced upon you. Choose to be compassionate. Choose to be kind. Choose to be humble. Choose to be gentle. Choose to be patient. Even when circumstances seem to require another response. Even when people are not acting in a loving manner. Even when you want to lash out in response to a person's actions or words.
Compassion. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness. Patience. How different the world would be if these were our first reaction in all situations.