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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”—Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
Did you know that salt is actually a greatly valued ingredient in desserts and baking? Unless you’re a chef or baker, this may come as a surprise to you (as it did me), yet it’s completely true! Salt surprisingly enhances the flavors in sweets, such as chocolates, by bringing out its natural salty flavors and lessening its bitterness. Additionally, though, salt is an essential ingredient in the baking process because it helps bring ingredients together with its emulsifying properties. Now, you may be thinking, What does this have to do with today’s Scripture?
I’m so glad you asked! In today’s Scripture, Paul talks about the character of a saved person in Christ. He calls them according to their new identity as chosen, holy, and beloved, but he also goes on to say that this new identity should result in character transformation. As we continue to pursue Christ, living for Him and through His grace, we’ll put on the attributes Paul mentions: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. However, after listing these things, Paul expresses that above them all, we must put on love because it’s the perfect bond of unity.
Here’s where the salt comes into play. Paul is not saying that as long as you have love, those other characteristics are not necessary. Paul is saying that love is the most important because it’s the basis for how we can grow in those other areas! Just as salt is necessary to enhance the flavor in chocolate and replace the bitterness with sweetness, love is necessary to reflect Christ accurately and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives!
However, the love Paul mentions here is not merely the kind of love we have for a family member, a friend, or a career. The only kind of love capable of transforming lives and bringing perfect unity is the love of God displayed through his son Jesus Christ! In the original Greek which Paul wrote in, this perfect, sacrificial, and unconditional love of God is called agape, which is how God is described in 1 John 4:8! It’s the agape love of God which transforms our hearts and minds as salt transforms the flavors in sweets, and it’s the agape love of God which will bind us in unity just as salt unifies the ingredients in baking.
Therefore, may Paul’s encouragement to the Colossian church to “put on love” reign true for us today as well! May we abide in agape and live a life reflective of agape!
DIG: Where else can you see the agape love of God in the Bible or in your own life?
DISCOVER: In what ways can you show love to those around you during this season? What about toward those who are difficult or bitter? How can you add a little salt to their lives?
DO: “Put on” God’s agape love today! Do something for someone else to actively demonstrate and share His love as He commands us to!
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.