«Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering» (Colossians 3:12).
THE BASIS OF CHRISTIANITY is relationship. Religion is community, communion with God and communion with our neighbor. Living and living together. Communion and relationship.
When Paul wrote this, the suffering of animals and that of the sick was not taken into account. The sick and wounded were allowed to die; nothing mattered. The way they treated the mentally ill or the disabled was completely discriminatory and ruthless. Women were simply objects. Elders had no place in society. The apostle challenged all to have mercy, kindness, consideration, and endearing affection.
It also challenged them to cultivate goodness. This is pure Christianity. Flavius Josephus used this word when describing Isaac’s habit of making wells as he looked for water and then gave them to others to take advantage of and enjoy. It is one thing to find water and another thing to make wells for others.
In addition, he asked for humility. It was not about being considered less as a person or of subservience. Humility is based on the sense of creature. The human being is a creature of the Creator God. We can feel nothing but humility before Him. Considering that we are all creatures and dependents of the Creator, we must express humility before others because we are all needy and dependent children, as well. There is no room for arrogance.
On the other hand, He requests meekness. This is a particular feature that strangely combines firmness with sweetness. The person is controlled because God controls him. «Meekness is the absence of self-justification, the opposite of aggression. It is a sweet, kind equanimity. Our Savior was the perfect example of true meekness» (SDA Bible Commentary).
Finally, he advised having longsuffering, patience. Just thinking about the patient way God has treated us makes us committed to being more patient with others.
Gerson, a noted fourteenth-century French theologian used to say that God takes adverbs more than verbs into account in our lives. What did he mean by this? It is simple. Verbs indicate action, and adverbs point to how we perform it.