What to Wear, What to Wear?

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."— Colossians 3:12 Chosen, holy and dearly loved. That's who we are to our Heavenly Father. And like any good father, He takes care of us—and provides our "wardrobe" for life.

Every day you choose how to clothe your physical body. But God has designed an inner wardrobe for which He recommends five important pieces:

HUMILITY—The ancient world did not much respect humility, so this was a radical recommendation. They admired pride and domination. The humility that we learn from Jesus is not thinking poorly of oneself, but rather thinking of others more.

GENTLENESS (also called meekness)—Meekness is not weakness; it is power under control. This word is used to describe a soothing wind, a healing medicine, a colt that has been broken. Someone who is gentle blesses others through quiet strength.

PATIENCE  (or longsuffering)—Long suffering literally means long temper. It is fine to get angry for the right reasons, for it can be a trait of holy character. But a short temper out of control is not holy. We need to be understanding and merciful with each other. We're all human!

FORGIVENESS—The world is a very unforgiving place. To be like Jesus is to show mercy to people who wrong us, to love them even when they hurt us. Forgiveness wards off bitterness and opens our hearts to the fullness of God's love.

LOVE that displays COMPASSION—True love is a heart melted in genuine compassion for others, mingled with the actions that demonstrate. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13, "the greatest of these is love."

Every day, we can make a conscious decision to "clothe" ourselves in the Lord and ask Him to design who we are, and how we will interact with other people.

For all the hours we spend shopping for and preparing our outward clothes, I pray that we will see our inner wardrobe as an even higher priority.