"12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." Colossians 3:12-17
Please read that entire Scripture. I know it's long, but it's so worth it.
As Christians, there are many times we give people the wrong impression of God. We make them think He's this judgmental bully waiting for them to mess up so He can strike their life with bad things. That's not how God works.
The reason people think that is because as Christians we treat people bad. We are always telling them what they are doing wrong, all the while KNOWING we are sinning ourselves.
We think, "Well, I've never murdered anyone, committed adultery, or stolen from anyone."
That might be true, but that doesn't make you better than anyone else. Did you know that most of our sins are committed in my minds anyway? It's our thoughts that mess us up. That's why Jesus said that even if you lust over someone, you've committed adultery in your heart.
God says in this passage that we MUST clothe ourselves in:
Notice it's not just mercy, but TENDERHEARTED mercy. That's special.
Then, He says to make allowance for each other's faults. You know why? Cuz nobody's perfect!
Next, forgive... and this is my favorite part.
"Remember, the LORD forgave you, so you must forgive others." verse 13b
This forgiveness includes yourself.
No matter what you've done in your past, or what you are doing right now, God loves you so very much. We must forgive others and ourselves, because who are we not to? If God forgave us, we must in turn forgive.
Last, and certainly not least.. verse 17 says it all, "And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
We are God's representatives, so when we are rude, mean, and nasty to people, we give them the wrong idea about God.
Let's stop doing that, ok? Who's with me? God loves all of us. No matter what.