But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:14)
When we appreciate the context, Colossians 3:14 is a stunning and beautiful statement.
In Colossians 3 the Apostle Paul wrote about bad behavior Christians should put off: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5) and anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language (Colossians 3:8). Then he wrote about good behavior Christians should put on: tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving (Colossians 3:12-13).
After all that, Paul wrote this remarkable sentence: But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Note those words: above all these things.
Christian, you have put off fornication and evil desire – wonderful! Have you put on love?
You have put off anger and filthy language – what a blessing! Have you put on love?
You have put on kindness and humility – God be praised! Have you put on love?
No matter what else there is in our life, if we lack love then we lack the greatest thing. Yet in another sense we can say that love is the summary of all the things described in Colossians 3. Love perfectly fulfills what God requires of us in relationships.
If we truly pursue love, we will truly pursue all those other things. Love will lead us to them. Yet, if we pursue those other virtues without love, things will get distorted and imbalanced.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul was bold enough to call love the bond of perfection. The idea of bond here is something like a chain or a rope that ties us up. Love binds us to God and binds us to each other, and it does so in a perfect way. In the best way, we need love as a tie that binds, bonding us to God and each other.
So, put on love.
Put on God’s love for you; this is the foundation of everything.
Put on your love for God that comes as a response to His love for you.
Put on the love He gives you for your brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Put on the love He Himself has for a lost, needy world.
Truly, this is the bond of perfection.