This week, we’ll be reading from Colossians. Click the scripture link to read the full chapter (Colossians is only 4 chapters long).
Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.
When you went to your closet this morning, what did you put on?
The message from Colossians is that followers of Jesus are called to put on a new set of clothes: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We’ve been fitted for garments of forgiveness. Above all, we’re to wrap ourselves in love.
Remember the idea that we live our way into a new way of thinking, rather than vice versa? This scripture again points to that concept. If you want to be more compassionate, then take every opportunity to practice compassion. Don’t be afraid to put forgiveness on in the morning, to walk around in it, just like you’re stepping into a pair of shoes. Wrap yourself up in a coat of love, because it’s cold outside!
When you pause and think about things like compassion, forgiveness, and love like clothing, as practices and not feelings, then you realize that you have control over them. You can be different than you were yesterday. The people around you may look at you strangely at first – like your shirt and shoes don’t match – but as God works in your heart to make that shift, then people will say that your new wardrobe suits you. Today, pull something new out of the closet!
For Pondering & Prayer
What do you think – does God change us first, leading us to act differently – or do we begin acting differently and then God changes our hearts? Or is the truth somewhere in between?
What is the one thing in the list – compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love – that you want to put on today? What are some concrete ways you can practice it?