“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” –Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
I am itching to start spring cleaning. And one of those jobs is cleaning out my closets.
I am sure we all have many things in our closets that require inspection–maybe clothes we haven’t worn for a long time, or items that are so worn that they need to go in the trash. Or we store non-clothing objects like books, papers, toys, or other things that need going through. Regardless, spring feels bold and new, a time to get rid of the old and embrace new life.
I like the text from Colossians today, and I especially like the image of “clothe yourselves…” I have met many people in life who naturally seem “clothed” with compassion, patience, kindness, or gentleness. It’s just a part of them, in everything they do. As if they took it out of their closet and put it on. Just as clothing immediately tells us about someone, having “spiritual” clothes can also set off an impression.
Yesterday I took a piece of artwork to my local framer. She has always been friendly, complimentary, and willing to go the extra mile to help me get my art beautifully framed. We went over mats, spacers, and a variety of subjects, and finally she helped me see some cost benefits in matting a certain way. She was certainly clothed in kindness, and as she interacted with other customers, I saw that kindness shared with them as well.
As I notice these traits in other people, I want to have those in myself. As I put my clothes on in the morning, I want to also clothe myself with these spiritual qualities.
I had the chance to exercise my “spiritual” clothes a few hours after spending time with my framer. An elderly neighbor of mine was leaving the library as I was walking in. After greeting her, I noticed she was carrying a bulging bag of books to her car. With the bag and a cane, it was weighing her arm down. I asked where her car was, she pointed, and I offered to lift the heavy bag from her and take it to her car.
Kindness had been shown to me, and I was able to turn around and share it with someone else.
Where in your life have you seen people wearing spiritual clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, or patience? If you haven’t experienced anyone, pray to God to bring those people into your life. As you are blessed to know some of these people, how can you yourself share these qualities with someone else today?
Prayer–“Lord God, cleanse me from my sins and clothe me with kindness today. Help me find ways to see how I can share it with others in my life, just as you share it with me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”