Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Clothed in Christ . . .
Most of us prefer comfortable clothes — clothes that fit well without binding. We have color preferences: some like bright colors, some like prints, others wear only black and white. Fashion enters into our choices. Everyone has their own version of fashion. But what does “Clothed in Christ” mean?
Paul wrote, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…” to the church at Colossae. These Colossian people made the decision to be disciples of Christ and to follow his teachings, but they needed direction. Paul told them to put on these spiritual values, as if they were clothing. His intention was for them, and is for us, to be drenched in these graces of living, so that our actions proclaim we are followers of Christ.
Clothe yourself with compassion.
Compassion, or heart-felt consideration for others, urges us to help others in need. Our hearts demand we give money, as much as possible, to a myriad of charities such as World Vision or the American Red Cross which can make a difference where there is suffering around the world due to a calamity. Or compassion can be taking a casserole to a neighbor down the street who just returned home from the hospital. Compassion forces us to help someone we don’t know who fell on the sidewalk. Offering help defines compassion.
Clothe yourself with kindness.
Saying the right word to bring peace to someone suffering, doing the right thing to be helpful, giving encouragement to those in difficulty embodies kindness. Begin each day by reminding yourself to find someone that day who needs an act or word of kindness. It has become popular in recent years to made Gratitude Lists; every day, count your blessings by writing them down and numbering them. Why not make a kindness list. At the end of the day write down the names of those to whom you showed kindness and what you did.
Clothe yourself with humility.
Being humble embodies not thinking more highly of yourself than of others. A humble person does not purport to be the best in anything or to think of himself as better than others.
Clothe yourself with meekness.
Meekness, the opposite of pride, resembles humility combined with submissiveness. Yielding to others rather than putting yourself forward demonstrates meekness.
Clothe yourself with patience.
The clichés “All good things come to those who wait,” and “Patience is a virtue,” indicate patience could be the most difficult virtue to conquer. We live in an “I want now” society. But patience yields better rewards than instant gratification.
Clothe yourself with forgiveness.
Did I say patience can be hard? Forgiveness beats them all! God has forgiven us, and he commands us to forgive others.
Clothe yourself with love.
If you have put on the clothes above, this one comes easily without trying. Conversely, if you love everyone first, feeling compassion, kindness, etc. comes easily! Nothing trumps love. As Christians, love forms the cornerstone of our relationship with God and others.