When holidays and celebrations roll around, it’s not unusual for women to look for a new outfit to wear. I’m not as much of a shopper as I used to be but, a few days ago, I trekked downtown in freezing cold temperatures (Montreal was hit with temps below -20C pretty much all of last week) with my much-younger friend Lilit. We went from store to store t o o o s t o o o o o o r e for a few hours. We did manage to find a few things but I’m not as young or trim as I used to be so I had mixed feelings about the experience.
The next morning, Lilit and I got together again at my home for our daily morning devotions (I’ll tell you more about this set-up another time). We read Colossians 3 and verse 12 jumped out at me:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Think about the word “clothe” for a moment. When you get dressed every morning, I assume you open your closet or drawers, look at what you have and choose what you’re going to wear. Whether you lay your clothes out the night before or throw them on in a mad dash before going out, it’s probably safe to say you choose your outfit.
How much time do you spend every morning deciding what qualities and character traits you are going to adorn yourself with? How much thought do you put into what people see and experience three seconds after they notice your clothes and hair?
It really doesn’t matter how sharp your suit is or how darling your dress is if you forget these garments at home:
- COMPASSION – sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others (see also Zechariah 7:9)
- KINDNESS – the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate (see also Job 6:14)
- HUMILITY – a modest or low view of one’s own importance (see also Proverbs 22:4)
- GENTLENESS – the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered (see also Philippians 4:5)
- PATIENCE – the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset (see also Proverbs 19:11)
No amount of fashion sense can make up for a heart focused on pleasing and glorifying itself. Not even the most stunning outfit or perfectly applied make-up can cover up a selfish, prideful and arrogant character.
Conversely, it really doesn’t matter if your blouse is 10 years old or your jeans don’t turn heads if you are clothed with the five qualities listed above. Few people will care about how you look on the outside when your kind words and gentle nature make them feel respected and safe.
Since I’d rather be remembered for how I made people feel than how trendy I looked, I decided to make a point of living out this verse on a daily basis. I gave myself a visual reminder of this good advice by dressing up (haha) the list and printing it out. Then I stuck it to the inside of my medicine cabinet so I can see it every day (I have bi-fold closet doors so that wouldn’t have worked for me).
I’ve already memorized the verse and have had a couple of opportunities to slowly recite it back to myself before facing a potentially stressful situation. It really helps!
Want a copy for yourself to post somewhere? Click on the image below to download or print it. . .
Please leave a comment below with your own thoughts about Colossians 3:12. What does it mean to you? Which of the five qualities do you struggle with the most? (For me, it’s probably gentleness.)
I wish you a blessed, joy-filled, and peaceful new year. If you were planning a make-over in 2018, don’t forget to clothe the “new you” with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Happy new you! ❤