A couple of days ago I blogged about Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 that was, for me, quite timely. Yesterday my devotional reading took me to Colossians 2, which is amazing, but about which I didn’t have time to blog because I was doing home school with my son and passing out door hangers for our Trunk or Treat this Sunday. (By the way, if you live in central Ohio, you should definitely come to our Trunk or Treat. There will be candy, and the candy will be free. Do you need another reason?)
So today I came to Colossians 3, which is also thoroughly amazing. (You know what, maybe you should go read the whole book of Colossians. It’s really great.) Here is a portion of what struck me today:
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.
What are you wearing today? I’m wearing my favorite Ohio State zip-up; but am I wearing compassion? Are you wearing kindness and humility in such a way that people notice the quality of your character the same way they notice the clothes on your body? When they see you coming, do they see a red shirt and blue jeans, or do they see a person who is gentle and patient?
I’m not trying to guilt you; I’m trying to change your perspective about the person you could possibly be. You really could be a person whose compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (all held together by agape love) is as evident to others as the clothes you wear. You really can possess these qualities of character because this is exactly what God is trying to do in your heart. He is remaking you–reclothing you. Through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and by faith in Jesus Christ, God is slowly but surely remaking your character so that you possess these qualities.
Your responsibility is to put on the clothes. Sure, it may not feel natural at first. Yes, you may feel like a hypocrite in the beginning. But the only way to live into this new character God is forming in you is to actually try it. You’ve got to give it some effort. (Remember, you’re saved by grace, but you’re changed by active cooperation with God.) Because compassion et. al. don’t come naturally to us, we have to choose to live that way. So put on your new clothes; they look much better on you than what you were wearing before.