“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 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. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15
Outfit snafu’s have been common occurrences in my life and usually happen at weddings. I’ve accidentally worn the same color as the bridesmaids, overdressed and underdressed and once almost fainted from the heat because my dress was too hot for an outdoor, summer wedding. (It was almost one-hundred degrees outside!) I struggle with what to wear on a daily basis too. (It doesn’t help that most of my clothes don’t fit but that’s another topic.) What colors should I wear? What style looks best with by shape? What is my shape? Does curvy mean short and 25 pounds overweight? Not only does it not come naturally to me to put an outfit together but I don’t even know what is appropriate for certain occasions. (Google is my friend.) Sometimes I feel that way relationally too. I ask myself what I should say or do in certain situations. It can be confusing, especially during conflict. However, Paul makes it very clear what we are to “wear” as God’s children on every occasion.
In Colossians 3:12-15 Paul starts by telling us our body type. We are, “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.” We have inherited God’s characteristics as His children. Therefore, we ARE holy because God is holy! Now, put on the “clothes” that suit your body type, reflecting who you are in Christ: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, love and peace. I want to dress like that! But, it seems unattainable. It’s like someone telling you to look like an airbrushed picture of a supermodel on the front of a magazine who has a personal trainer, plastic surgeon and stylist working with her on a daily basis. Well, no matter how much I exercise I will never look like Gisele. (I didn’t have her parents!) But, the attributes Paul asks us to put on are spiritually genetic, passed down form my Heavenly Father. I am a beloved child of God and I do have His Holy Spirit who is all of those beautiful things in me. You see, we too have a personal trainer; someone to help us get dressed and walk out onto the runway of life showing off His magnificent design. So, with pleasure I take off my old self and put on the new at His request, surrendering to my Designer. This outfit always fits perfectly! So, as we walk down the red carpet of life and people ask, “What are you wearing?” Say, “Jesus.”
“…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24