February 10, 2020

Clothing Ourselves

Devotion for the Week...

Working with toddlers as I do, I often see them struggling to put on some article of clothing. Usually it's socks, since they all love to pull their socks off and then put them back on, but sometimes it's a sweater, boots, snowpants, hats or mittens. Whatever it is, at a year old they usually don't have the coordination and fine motor skills to actually get the article of clothing on without help. By two they can put on their socks most of the time and by three or four they can probably manage all of it. Learning to dress yourself is quite a process!

Last week I was reading in Colossians and I came to this: "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony" (Colossians 3:12-14). What struck me most was the phrase 'clothe yourselves,' which immediately made me think that these things Paul is telling us to put on are not natural for us. Clothes, after all, aren't a part of us naturally. We add them to our bodies in the same way that he is telling us to add mercy, kindness, humility, etc. to our character.

Naturally speaking, we are full of selfishness. Just hang out with a group of toddlers for any length of time and you will see that selfishness on full display as they snatch toys from each other or push each other over in their desire to get to something they want. There is very little concern for others naturally present in us. We have to learn those traits.

Where can we get these traits, then? Well, consider how similar the list of traits we are to clothe ourselves with is to the list of the fruit of the Spirit: "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" (Galatians 5:22, 23). Paul, in Colossians, is telling us to clothe ourselves with traits that come from the Holy Spirit living within us.

Just like toddlers learning to dress themselves, learning to clothe ourselves with these traits is quite a process. There will be times we fail to put on the covering of love before we speak, resulting in us saying things that are mean or hurtful. There will be times we're unable to get the covering of patience on when we need it and we'll be impatient with someone or with a situation. That's okay. It's all part of the process of learning how to clothe ourselves with these godly traits. Thankfully, the more we practice relying on the Spirit within us rather than on our own nature, the better we will get at putting on love, patience, kindness and the rest.
Let's practice clothing ourselves with godly character | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Pinwheel Garden
Unlike toddlers learning to dress themselves, our goal is not to become independent. We will always need Him to help us clothe ourselves with godly character. Instead, our goal is to walk so closely with Him that we automatically put on these traits daily. Galatians 5:16 says, "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves."

Let's practice clothing ourselves with godly character!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Leanne for finding another great way to illustrate God's word.

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  2. I have so much yet to put into practice - mercy, kindness, gentleness, patience, and more. I fail so often, and I don't want to! It's a spiritual lesson that needs continual reminding and re-practicing. I appreciate the way you've shared this. Thank you!

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