2021.02.23 Daily Devotional for Lent
Our Lenten Devotionals feature reflections from The Road Back to God by Larry Neeb.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Colossians 3:12-17 2 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Lord, today I name in my heart one person I compete with and think of that person as an equal sharer with me in your love. Amen.
“Must We Always Be at War?”
Rivalries and the subtle hatreds they spawn are all around us and at the root of gossip, pettiness and our inability to get along with each other.
It takes a radical turnaround to get out of the habit of struggling to be number one. That turnaround can begin when we are able to see the true value in our neighbor – not just the value he or she has in measurable areas of competition – but the value that clings to every human being because God cares about each of them. When that true value is seen, that person will no longer be seen just as a competitor, but as a partner, sharing equally the grace and forgiveness of God.
This scripture is one of my favorites. In fact one of my very first sermon sprang from it, reminding me that compassion always beats competition. As one conservative Christian theologian, whose name I have forgotten, said, “There is no place for competition in Christianity.”