Colossians 3:12-15 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Clothing is not optional! Clothing is required!
The clothing we wear communicates to the world around us. It communicates externally what we know and think internally. A physician in a white coat communicates to us that they are trained and ready to help you with your medical needs. A chef, wearing his apron communicates to us that they can cook and will be providing food. A police officer communicates to us that they are prepared to protect and respond in emergencies. You can tell from the outside how they have been trained and what they know on the inside.
To me, Paul's words in today’s reading from Colossians are absolutely beautiful. He begins, "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." You have been chosen! You are dearly loved! Who in this world shouldn't know that? Who in this world wouldn't want that? Show the world what you know. What you know and feel on the inside, make visible to the world. People will not know your compassion and kindness unless you clothe yourself in it and make it visible through your words and actions. It should be as visible as that favorite t-shirt that you love to wear. Show the world that you are wearing gentleness and patience. Every day, when you are putting on your clothes for the day, recite this one simple but beautiful sentence from Paul, and get completely dressed for your day.
Dear God, thank you! Thank you for choosing and loving me! Out of my gratefulness, help me every day, while I am dressing, to remember to put on my compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience. May I show the world what I know about you through my actions and words. I want you to be completely visible to everyone I meet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Ruthie Steen Disciple of Jesus at St. John’s