My wardrobe changes this time of year.
As the mornings get cooler, I find myself layering up in pants and a sweatshirt to walk the dog. I wore my heavy coat for this first time this morning as I went to work. I even had to put on gloves for one of my runs last week.
The outfits I choose to wear change based on the weather conditions.
This is an extremely obvious statement, but one that we nonetheless should consider as we read this passage from Colossians. In this passage, Paul tells us to clothe ourselves with certain attributes.
Instead of putting on a sweatshirt, put on compassion.
In lieu of shoes, wear kindness.
Here’s the way Paul puts it:
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.
Clothing is often chosen for its function.
We wear clothes to stay warm (function), as I described above. In the same way, the attributes Paul lists help us function as God’s chosen people. How should we act as God’s children? With gentleness, patience, etc…This is a Christian’s function.
Clothing is also worn for fashion. You make a statement to the world based on the clothes you choose to wear.
In the same way, theses attributes make a statement to the world. They tell the world what type of people Christians really are.
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness are a Christian’s clothing. We wear these attributes to show the world who are and who we follow.
Now I know what you’re thinking— its hard to be a compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, and forgiving person. Isn’t God expecting too much from us?
In the next verse, Paul shares how we can have these qualities in our lives.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Love binds them all together.
If you are having a hard time forgiving someone, try loving them first. You may see that love will help you become a more forgiving person.
If you are finding it challenging to have compassion for a certain group of people, try loving them. Love may move you to a place of compassion.
It all starts and ends in love.
This week, clothe yourself with love.
On Sunday we will continue our series titled The Big 3. We are going to study what God says about love.
See you on Sunday!