Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Verse 12 (NIV)
In the mid 1980s I worked on the transformation of a house in Toronto’s Rosedale area to a posh hair boutique. The owners were impressed with our work and invited my boss and I, with our wives, to come to the grand opening with Hall & Oates (pop singers) in attendance. So, we went. Did we ever feel out of place at that event. Everyone was dressed in very modern and up to date clothes. The four of us quietly left and went out for dinner. A much more comfortable evening.
Sometimes what you wear allows other people to see what you value and what your character is like. If you go to a sports game, you will be surrounded by a sea of team jerseys.
In today’s Scripture passage, we are encouraged to dress in a way that shows what we value and who we are. In verses 5-11, we are reminded to put off things that are sinful, demeaning, and hurtful, such as malice, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. Then we are urged to put on a new set of clothes: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We also add love, “which binds them all together in perfect unity.” In other words, love makes our outfits perfectly coordinated! All of these articles were “worn” perfectly by Jesus Christ; as his followers, we model our lives after him.
I remember a time when I was wearing my denim jacket with a “Jesus is Lord” patch on my back. I was making a purchase at a gas station and the attendant, I thought, was very rude. I was ready to give him a good piece of my mind, but then I remembered what I was wearing. That would have been a very poor witness. I changed my attitude and tone of voice and informed him that I thought he should be more customer friendly. May we always put on the mind of Christ and glorify him before others.
Lord make us aware of what we show ourselves to be as followers of Jesus, Amen.