“Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience”
Spring-cleaning can involve three things. We get rid of stuff that shouldn’t be there, we get rid of what is no longer useful and we make space for what we want to include. Paul now gives us an example of the qualities that should become a part of our new life in the Lord. Note that He tells us to ‘clothe’ ourselves with these things – indicating that we take a conscious decision to include them in our lives and living. So just as we clothe ourselves every morning in an outfit that will reflect something about us to the world, we should as intentionally include these qualities in our image for the day –
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
In the following verses he included forbearance, forgiveness and love, peace and thankfulness.
The very fact that he identifies these characteristics, and urges us to clothe ourselves in them, indicates that they are not automatically a part of the life of all Christians. In likening them to clothes he is also pointing out that they are not to be hidden qualities but as visible to others as the garments that we wear.
They bear a close resemblance to the fruit of the Spirit that he mentions in his letter to the Galatians. That tells us that even as we put them on we will need the help of the Spirit to make them a reality in our lives – so that they are not like the decorations on a Christmas tree but qualities that are rooted in the very centre of our beings. And we will also need to keep bringing to Him the unattractive and unhelpful qualities that we have decided to throw out. They don’t always go easily!
Christian life is about growth – away from what was and into what is and will be. Embrace it!
Pray out the world – pray in the Spirit. Consciously live love.
Lord please help me to identify and walk away from what should not be a part of my life and into the garments of love and holiness with which You wish to clothe me. Amen.