"Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it." (Colossians 3:13 MSG)
As we continue reading this passage in Colossians 3, Paul decided to go even deeper in his list of "what to wear/bring to work" than he did in verse 12:
"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline."
In verse 13, Paul now brings up key 'BE' attitudes we are to model in our workplaces:
1. BE EVEN TEMPERED.
One of the best ways to be His witness at work is by keeping our cool when we are tempted to give into anxiety, anger, or a 'bad' attitude when facing a stressful situation or unkind word. Remaining level headed can diffuse a moment and help your upset coworkers or angry client calm down.
"A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire." (Proverbs 15:1)
2. BE CONTENT WITH SECOND PLACE
One of the best attitudes we can bring with us to work is one of being a team player. By putting others first, and being happy for their wins, we are modelling humility and contentment. This attitude will mark you as different from those who do not share your faith, and may spark some conversations where you can share why you are content with not behaving competitively or like a 'lone wolf.'
"Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody." (Romans 12:16 MSG)
3. BE QUICK TO FORGIVE AN OFFENSE, AND DO SO COMPLETELY, JUST AS CHRIST DID TOWARDS YOU
When we offer forgiveness to those in our workplaces who offend us, we release His peace to flow into our relationships, and remove resentment between us. By speaking it to someone who used their words to wound us, we release His healing not only within ourselves, but towards the offender, whether they intended to do so or not. Just as Jesus fully and completely forgives us when we sin, we are to do the same to those who sin towards us.
"Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32 MSG)
Then, at the end of verse 13, Paul reminds us to love. Just as he started verse 12 with the words "new life of love", he confirms we are to wear love. For,
4. LOVE IS TO BE OUR ALL PURPOSE GARMENT WHICH WE ARE NEVER TO BE WITHOUT.
Love is the underlying attitude we are to bring with us to work, for it demonstrates God's love in action to everyone around us. Love is the mindset of God from the beginning towards humanity, and will live on with His children into eternity! How we are to express and show that attitude of love is best outlined below:
"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 MSG)