And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. – Colossians 3:14
Do you want to be kind, forgiving, patient, humble, compassionate, and all kinds of other good things? It all starts with love.
All of these things are “virtuous.” But God always brings everything back to talking about love because that is what defines His nature. God IS love. All of these things are excellent and wonderful ways to treat one another. Yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 that we can do these great things, but without love they are nothing.
Why are they nothing without love? Because we are meant to do them through a desire to be like Jesus. Otherwise they become obligations. A sense of duty, no matter how honorable, is not the same as love. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, love should define who we are. God wants us to be changed, not simply to act differently. Love transforms us back into what He created us to be.
Love is like a collection of all these good and perfect things. If we have the bundle, we have all the others. You need patience, reach into the bag. You need to forgive, grab it from love. It all starts there. Put on love!