November 06, 2023

What to Wear

Devotion for the week...

Clothes shopping can be frustrating. The last time I went looking for dressy shirts, I found one I thought was really pretty, so I tried it on, only to discover the little cutout exposed waaay more cleavage than I was comfortable with. Others were made of a material that clings in an unflattering way. Still others were nicer on the hanger than they were on me, lol. There were plenty of clothes in the stores, but not a lot of them were ones I wanted to wear.

I've always found it interesting that Paul used the phrase 'clothe yourselves' when writing about character traits we should display. Colossians 3:12-14 says, "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."

Since clothing is something we choose, something we put on each day, and something that covers us, let's take a look at each of those in reference to character traits.

Something we choose: We each choose the style of clothes we like to wear from the many options that are available. There are a lot of options for character traits, too, and many of them are ones God doesn't want us wearing. Things like anger, bitterness, jealousy, and selfishness are worn by plenty of people, but He wants us to choose better.

Something we put on each day: We get dressed each morning with clothes chosen to suit the activities we'll be doing that day. Likewise, we'll have opportunities to show which character traits we're wearing by how we respond to the situations that come up. Did we respond with patience and kindness, or did we clothe ourselves with impatience and irritation instead? Each day, and each situation, is a new opportunity to put on the traits God wants for us.

Something that covers us: Oh, how I wish I could say these traits are part of our natural makeup as humans, but of course we know that's not the case. That's why Paul has to tell us to clothe ourselves with them. The traits of patience and kindness, gentleness and mercy, humility and love are all aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, which we put on over top of our human tendencies. It's not that we're trying to pretend we're better than we are, but that we are choosing to live by the Spirit rather than by the flesh. 
Patience, kindness, gentleness, mercy, humility, and love look great on everyone |
Unlike the clothes at the store, a character of patience, kindness, gentleness, mercy, humility, and love looks great on everyone. It always fit, too!

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