Wednesday, January 7, 2015
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3: 8-17).
I was looking through my closet the other day trying to decide which clothes I no longer wear, which ones are out of date, and what I'd be willing to part with to make more room in my closet. What for?! More clothes, of course! The process became difficult as I mused that, although these items hadn't been worn in the longest time, "I like that blouse!" and, "That might be back in style again some day!" Yet, when I look at the styles that young women are wearing in magazines, I am skeptical and wonder--"Could I follow that fad? I don't think that style suits me. Maybe I'll just hang on to the old clothes and be boring!"
Do you remember the WWJD fad? What Would Jesus Do? We don't see this phrase displayed much anymore. Maybe it's out of touch to wonder what Jesus would do? And, how do we even know what Jesus would do? I don't know that He would care about my clothing style.
Paul reminds us: "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2: 4-7). Notice Paul's encouragement to "have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus"; Jesus did not worry about himself and his clothing. He took on the form of a man so that you and I could relate to Him. Christ put others before himself, and this is what it means to do what Jesus would do.
If we look at Colossians 3, Paul exhorts us to live in harmony with each other, ridding our lives of anger, bad language, gossip, etc., and instead to clothe ourselves with "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" all while having gratitude in our hearts.
I did not make a New Year's resolution. But, as I read these passages, I realize how often I fall short of what Jesus would do. I want to clothe myself in a way that glorifies my Savior and emulates his example.
Dear God, You did not assert Your right on earth to live as a king. Instead, You came to us as a servant. I ask You to help me wear Your clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Help me not to look at what I don't have but rather realize how blessed I am to be Your child. Fill me with gratitude and teach me to put the interests of others above my own. In Jesus' Name. Amen