Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness & Patience [Young Explorers Recap]

As you may know, we are in the process of memorizing Colossians 3. This evening we learned verse 12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” This is an interesting list because it almost lines up with the list in verse in 8 as opposite sides of the same coins: “..Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language.” It’s not exact, but it can be helpful to recognize two responses that reflect each other.

For example, compassion means to feel concern for the sufferings of others, while malice means to wish ill on another person. To illustrate this point, I told the kids a story about a boy named Marty who was constantly bullied by a boy named Jaydon. Later, Jaydon breaks his leg in a car accident and finds himself at the mercy of Marty. Now, if Marty responds with malice, he will use his new power over Jaydon to bully him. Whereas if he responds with compassion, he will have mercy on Jaydon even though Jaydon doesn’t deserve it.

Another story I told illustrated the difference between gentleness (power under control) and rage (power out of control). When Marty’s little sister Lilly teases him, Marty is strong enough to push her down. But that’s rage – violent, uncontrollable anger. If Marty chooses to control his anger, he is demonstrating gentleness. I was careful to point out that gentleness is not weakness or “being sissy.” Instead, it is demonstrating control over power.

I told similar stories to illustrate how the kids would respond with patience instead of anger, and humility instead of slander.

Each one of these stories presented a really hard task to the kids. It’s really difficult to show compassion to your enemies, or restraint with your anger! But we were reminded that we are not in this battle alone. Taking off our “old nature” and putting on the “new nature” is only possible when Jesus saves us from our sin. HE is the one that makes it possible to be patient instead of angry. Only his blood is powerful enough to help us be humble, kind, or gentle.

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