Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
Do you know what an honor it is to be loved by God? It’s a privilege beyond any this world can offer you. I pray you are experiencing His love daily, as you read His Word and enjoy His creation all around you. We must clothe ourselves with five things: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
The Greek word for “to clothe” is enduo, which means to sink into, to put on, to wear, or be dressed in. In the context of this scripture it simply means to sink oneself into the very characteristics of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. The Scripture passage is telling us that we must actually put on these qualities in our lives. We must let Christ wrap us up with the qualities that are found in this verse. Our identity in Christ becomes stronger every day, as we live our lives out for God. We can’t believe that these qualities will simply exist just because we call ourselves Christians. No, they are a product of being in the Word daily and spending time with God in various ways.
Here is the break down of all five characteristics and how we can apply them to our own lives! Your daily wardrobe should look a little like this:
*Basic definition – caring empathy of another person outside of basic selfish nature.
*Are you conscious of the pain others are going through around you? Have you been paying attention to the stress signals, the flares shooting off, and the white flags raised in surrender? If so, then you can be there to help alleviate the pain that often shows up in the lives of those around you. When you are aware of the pain that shows up in the lives of those around you, you are able to be compassionate. It’s not enough to just take pity on someone, as the whole world can do that. God wants us to do more than that. He wants us to show His love by being compassionate towards others, seeing the signs of their distress, and responding with His love towards it.
*Basic definition – a readiness to respond with righteousness and thoughtful consideration beyond how people treat us or how they may or may not deserve it.
*Have you shown someone kindness lately by doing something for them without any strings attached? Have you reached out with the time, resources, and love that you have from God? The loving-kindness that God shows you every day should be returned to Him by giving it to others on a daily basis. A kind word, a kind gesture, and a moment of your time will all go a long way when used for God.
*Basic definition – It is so important to remember that Christ is first in our lives. He will always reign supreme, if we let Him.
*We are to be servants with loving attitudes. Jesus was very forward about the meek. He made it very clear that the meek would be the ones to inherit the earth. He wanted us to remember that first would be last and the last would be first. Jesus, Himself was One who came to serve; should we not do the same?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
*Basic definition – This indicates strength under control so we are Christians who encourage others and place others first with action and encouragement.
*The best kind of strength is a strength that can come under the control of God. God wants us to operate under His sovereignty. He alone knows how to direct our steps and make our ways gentle. Are you encouraging those around you? Are you being gentle? Have you surrendered yourself to the Lord?
*Basic definition – Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.
*I know it’s difficult to watch others fail, especially when you think you know what’s best for them. But are you willing to be patient for God to do His work in your life. Will you allow people to fail? Will you allow people to seek God and find Him while He can be found? (Isaiah 55:6 & Acts 17:26-28) Sometimes we have to let go and let God do the work. This doesn’t mean that we stop praying, no, it simply means we stop trying to have control over the situation. We go from having our hands over the situation and put them in an open position, up towards God, in pure surrender. God knows the hearts of His people and through the Holy Spirit, He can change the ones you love. Have patience!
“…Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Please don’t forget to do what is so important every day! Don’t forget to forgive! Be quick to forgive and slow to hold back in anger. The Lord does not hold your sin against you. Jesus forgives you when you ask Him into your heart. The debt is paid. How long before you forgive those who have hurt you? How long before you choose to love? It is an insult to God to hold anything against someone, after God has so freely forgiven you. Maybe it’s time to go back and read the stories of Truth (Matthew 18:23-35, Luke 15:11-31).
God’s love brings all of this together. It started with forgiveness on the cross. Jesus died to pay for your sins and mine, now we have an opportunity to live great lives for God through His love. His love binds together the qualities that we long for: Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, and Patience. May God continue to work in you, so that all these qualities appear in your life. Please forgive anyone who has hurt you and let God’s love truly reign in your heart this day and every day!
Dear Father God, I pray that my life will be a living testimony of the qualities found in this passage of scripture. May I continue to grow in compassion for those who are hurting, may I be kind to all those around me, may I be humble, may I be gentle in my words, and patient in my actions. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me and keep my list short on grievances when it comes to others. Also, I pray that Your deep love would continue to grow inside of me and I may serve You more completely each day that I live!
Living Out Your Wardrobe Plan,