In the morning I often stop and think about what to wear that day. Lately, thanks to Colossians 3, I go over my list of 5 items that Christ-followers are privileged to wear, and how I might let others see them on that day.
I think about putting on compassion. The Trinity is full of compassion toward me, and toward all people. I think about the people I will meet today. Will I judge them, or will I strive to understand them, to be aware that they are fighting a great battle, as we all are? I resolve to put on compassion, and gently slip it on.
I then think about kindness. Jesus is my master teacher, and like him, I will show kindness today. I will try to open doors for people, let them in my lane while driving, smile at people and speak encouraging words.
Next I think about humility. Humility is not the same as having a bad, or low, opinion of ourselves. If I have done anything worthy, it is because of God at work in me. I resolve to put on humility this day by not thinking highly of myself and, instead, thinking highly of others.
I think about gentleness. One can only be gentle if one is strong; the weak cannot be gentle. I am strong because of where I live (the kingdom) and who I am (Jim in whom Christ dwells and delights). I decide that I will not use strength this day to be aggressive, but rather to be gentle. People need the quiet strength I have to offer, thanks to the Spirit.
Finally I think about patience. When I have amnesia about my identity and place, I struggle with impatience. But today I will remember who I am and who is in control. I resolve to put on patience: when things do not go as I want them to, I will smile and turn to God and say, “Thank you for this chance to exercise patience.”
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience: rarely seen, but the most beautiful attire anyone can wear.
AFFIRMATION – the following reprise yesterday’s affirmation, prayer and reflection
God has cleaned me up, given me new life and also given me a new set of clothes to wear. They are a gift, but I must put them on. Today I will, for the world is badly in need of people who are compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient.
Gracious Abba, thank you for these wonderful items of apparel. I did not earn them; they are a gift from you. Help me honour you this day, as well as those around me, by putting on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Amen.
Have you ever tried to “dress to impress” others? Did it work?