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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
On more than one occasion in life I’ve wished for a personal shopper. Am I the only one? Why do I not doubt it...☺ Maybe because many of us aren’t exactly fashion minded. Oh, we may know a good outfit can make us carry ourselves a little straighter, a little sassier, but putting it together? I often have no clue where to start.
Thank goodness God didn’t leave us hanging with the clothing we should wear. Because while a good outfit may put a smile on our face, a good character will shine it for others. I know, I know, sounds like a line but we all know it’s true! True beauty honestly comes from the inside. Which is why God gave us the list in Colossians three.
So let’s read it again. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Oh boy. And it’s not done. Bear with others. Forgive them. Let’s hang here before going onto that last one, because maintaining all of these is as daunting as trying to put together an outfit for a New York runway.
Here’s the thing though, God chose these words on purpose. He knew the combination was perfect. He knew they would layer together with just the right color and style to blow those around us away, giving us a depth of beauty we could never create on our own, and leaving people to ask where they could obtain the same outfit.
And while those qualities may seem like an impossible list to wear, let’s actually think about clothes for a moment. We need to pull them on every day. They don’t just show up, we have to choose to don them—which means there is a conscience effort involved. It also means they’re fresh. Just like we don’t pull our clothes out of the hamper, we need to take our character newly from him every morning. Makes me think of Lamentation 3:23 and how his mercies are new every morning. Fresh. Ready for us to dip into and pull on ourselves.
There’s one last piece in that list too. The accessory that cinches it all together: love. Like a belt completing our outfit, love gathers all the pieces together and holds them there in perfect unity. It’s the piece that that cannot be missed or everything else falls apart.
Anyone else ready to get dressed for the day?
Lord, help us to find our worth not in what we are physically wearing today, but in the character we are building in you. Help us to chose the pieces that grow us in relationship not only with you, but others too. Let our spiritual clothing be belted in love and allow it to draw others to you, the one who designed it all. Amen.