Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:12–17, NLT)
What is worship? Music? Prayer? Giving thanks? Obedience to the Lord? The answer is yes, yes, yes, and yes. Worship is all of those things. We should sing our praise to the Lord, worshiping Him in song. We should pray to the Lord, spending time in His presence, talking to Him and listening to Him. We should give thanks to the Lord for all that He is, all that He has done, and all that He has given us. And we should be obedient to His Word, to His will for us. All of these things are worship. But what about the way we treat each other? Is that worship also? The answer to that question is also a resounding, “YES!”
In his letter to the church at Colosse, Paul outlines the actions and attitudes that should be evident among members of the body of Christ. He stresses that everything that we do or say should be done as representatives of Jesus (Colossians 3:17). Our actions and our attitudes towards each other should reflect Jesus. And, in all that we say and do, we should be giving thanks, through Jesus, to God the Father. The things that we do or say should reflect our gratitude to the Lord. And when they do, I believe that it is worship.
So how should we act toward each other? What actions and attitudes would be considered as worship? In chapter 3, verse 12 of Colossians, Paul points out that we have been chosen by God to be the holy people that He loves. As such, the way in which we treat each other is important. We must show compassion (mercy), and we must treat each other with kindness, gentleness, and patience. We must display humility, putting the needs of others before our own desires. We must be willing to make allowances for each other’s faults (we all have them!) and must forgive each other, just as the Lord has forgiven us.
Above all, we must display love for each other. God is love, He loves us, and we must love each other. Peace, the peace that comes from Jesus, must rule in our hearts so that we can live with each other in peace. And we must always be thankful. The Gospel, the message of Jesus Christ, must fill our lives so that we can teach and counsel each other in the wisdom that He gives us. And then, added to all of these things, we must sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God, worshiping Him with hearts that are thankful.
When we choose to treat each other in the ways that Paul outlines in this passage from Colossians, our actions and our attitudes toward each other are not just pleasing to God, they are an act of worship, as well.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.