“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.”
What a counter cultural list to clothe ourselves in. It could be argued that our culture is more likely to clothe itself in greed, entitlement, vengeance and self-centredness. It could also be argued that it is clothed in tolerance, heath and pursuit of happiness. Perhaps you would create another list of what you believe our culture wears?
Paul however is not listing what our culture wears. He is listing what we ought to wear.
As I read this passage this week, I journaled a couple of questions for myself in response. Perhaps they are the questions this passage asks us to consider?
- When someone looks at me, what do they see? Some of this? All of this? None of this?
- How do I clothe myself in these things?
To wear something is a choice. It is an act. A decision. When we put something on it is not a passive act. Clothes do not jump on to our bodies. We choose them and decide to put them on. What do you have in your wardrobe?
To carry the image a little further, we can have something in our wardrobe, but we don’t wear everything all the time. The weather conditions influence which article we wear at any given time. In a sense, the weather can be a catalyst for our choice of what we wear.
When someone is suffering, there is an opportunity to clothe ourselves in compassion. When someone has wronged us, there is a chance to put on forgiveness. When someone is frustrating us, we can choose to wear patience.
This week life will bring you different conditions. This week you will have an opportunity to clothe yourself in something. What’s in your wardrobe?