Colossians 3:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 3:12, NIV: Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12, ESV: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Colossians 3:12, KJV: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12, NASB: So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience;

Colossians 3:12, NLT: Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Colossians 3:12, CSB: Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

What does Colossians 3:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In both Colossians 3:5 and 3:8, Paul listed five ways of life Christians are to avoid. In this verse, he offers five ways of life Christians ought to follow. In addition, he prefaces this list by referring to believers using three names. First, they are "God's chosen ones." God selected or elected them to be part of His family. Second, these believers are holy, which means "set apart." This is due to God's work in them, not their own good deeds. Third, believers are "beloved" by God (John 3:16).

The first positive practice Paul gives is a compassionate heart. This is a response to God, and to others, which is filled with love and concern rather than selfishness.

Second, Paul mentions kindness. This Greek word is chrēstotēta, which can also be translated as "moral goodness or integrity." The term refers to how a person treats others.

Third, believers are to live in humility, a trait valued by God throughout Scripture (James 4:6). The gospel requires people to admit they are sinners in need of a Savior. As believers, we should recognize God's supremacy in our lives and how limited we are in comparison. Humility is also important so that we don't act arrogantly or unfairly towards other people.

Fourth, Paul mentions meekness, from the Greek prautēta. This is not an attitude of fear, or the suggestion that Christians ought to be timid. Rather, it refers to gentleness, instead of a hard hearted response to others. A "meek" person is one who controls their strength and power, rather than abusing it.

Fifth, Paul expects patience from believers. This and the other traits in this verse closely reflect the list describing the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23.