Attributes of a Kingdom Citizen

Bing Crosby sang the following:

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
Latch on to the affirmative,
And don’t mess with Mr. In-between.”

Consider that being the choir singing before the following message.

All Scripture is profitable for reproof and correction in righteousness, but passages such as the following are easier to understand and challenging to live out.

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:12-17)

Read it again contemplating each word and judge yourself by it.

Who do you know that is an admirable example of it? Would you dare to aspire to become known as a living embodiment of its characteristics?

To do so it is essential to do what is encouraged in an earlier verse: 

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.”

John Bunyan, author of the classic “Pilgrim’s Progress,” did so concluding, “What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it.” That type of conviction typifies such a person. By living such a life he was so out of sync with his society that he was imprisoned. When offered his release if he would renounce his convictions he said, “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience or a slaughterhouse of my convictions.”

Consider just a few of the virtues in this passage as a starting point.

Compassion is what is meant by “tender mercies.” It is in reality what is often said flippantly, “I feel your pain.”

Next comes “kindness.” This is compassion on offence, taking it to ‘um. 

The third quality is “humility,” which has been described as “the rarest and fairest of all Christian virtues.” It is the exact opposite of a detestable sin, which is pride. Thus, we are to put on humility, to think humbly of ourselves. 

The fourth quality is “gentleness,” which is often translated as “meekness.” Unlike weakness, it is strength under control.

With these four starters, resolve to practice them starting today. Gradually focus on others.

What God says is best, is best.