Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another
if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all
these virtues put on love, which binds them
all together in perfect unity.
I love the concept of clothing ourselves in Christ. Let's face it, we spend a lot of time shopping, picking out our clothes and trying to put some kind of look together. Now, some people care about this more than others, but we all have to care about it to some extent!
So - what if we cared even more about our spiritual wardrobe
than our physical wardrobe?
Suppose you woke up every morning and thought about putting on your shirt of compassion, your pants of kindness, your jacket of humility, your shoes of gentleness and your hat of patience?
Or - are we more like the emperor in the Emperors New Clothes? Remember that old story? The Emperor wants to have the most beautiful clothing - to be admired by everyone. He gets taken in by a tailor who is sewing him the most beautiful clothing - it just happens to be invisible! He keeps telling the emperor how great he looks and how nice the clothes are - making him believe it! Now the emperor can not see anything, but he doesn't want to admit it - no one else wants to admit it either. So . . . he ends up walking out into the town in parade style without anything on! Only a small child is willing to tell him the truth.
I wonder if we are just a bit like that emperor. Spiritually speaking, we study the Bible and listen to great sermons - we know all about these traits of Christian character, right down to their dictionary definitions. And yet, we walk right out of the door spiritually naked! No one else may want to point this out. Let's face it - that is not fun. So, there we go, like the emperor, prancing around town without our essentials on!
So, how do we clothe ourselves with things like compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience? Well, I haven't gotten that far in the book, but here is what I've learned in my own life.
*You have to be intentional about it. Just like we choose what we are wearing each day, we must choose to clothe ourselves with these things.
*Jesus is the tailor! These are His character traits and we can not adorn ourselves with these without Him!
*It is not a matter of will power - it is a matter of the Holy Spirit's power.
*Dirty clothes need washing. If you find yourself in short supply of these virtues, you may need to go to the Lord and confess your struggles. He is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! (1st John 1:9)
*Life will be richer and much more satisfying if you choose to clothe yourself with compassion, humility, gentleness, patience and kindness. Such outfits as indifference, pride, harshness, irritability and cruelty do not flatter! They will only bring you and those around you heartache and despair.
*One of the hardest parts of fashion is pulling that look all together in the end. In these verses, we are told that LOVE binds all these virtues together. So don't forget to put on LOVE before you walk out the door. We don't want parts of our outfit randomly falling off - do we? Talk about a wardrobe malfunction!!
What is in your closet?
How carefully are you choosing your spiritual wardrobe?
Are you dressing for success (so to speak?)