Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
What are you wearing? I’m wearing an old pair of jeans and a shirt I bought for $5 about three years ago. To be quite honest, I feel pretty sloppy. Personally, I’m all for bumming around the house in my pajama pants and a T-shirt, but when I have to go out I like to look put together. Why? Because I know that I will see people and I want them to believe that I am worth a neat appearance. If I’m sloppy, I feel like they think I’m irresponsible and unorganized. If I’m in my Sunday best, I feel like I could conquer the world. What I wear determines how I act.
So, my question is… what are you wearing? No, not physically, I mean spiritually. The passage above says that we are to “clothe” ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and peace. This should be the first thing people notice about us. It should cover our entire presence. It should determine how we feel about ourselves and how we face the day. Just like a three-piece suit, our compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and peace should overtake our composure and should govern all of our actions. No matter how poor the man, if he is wearing a brand new three-piece suit, you won’t find him begging on the corner. In the same way, if we truly clothe ourselves with the virtues stated above, we will live the part.
So, how do we clothe ourselves? Well, first, I must point out that “clothe” is an action verb. Your clothes don’t just land on you. You have to pick them up and put them on. In the same way, virtue will not just become a part of your life. Everyday, we must make a conscious decision to lay aside our clothes of selfishness and personal agenda and put on compassion and love. Sometimes they may not be the most comfortable thing in your closet, be we are commanded to do this because we are God’s chosen people.
Secondly, we must work toward it every day through scripture reading, prayer, and the acting out of your faith. Just as a fine garment does not come at a cheap price, virtue costs. Humility and gentleness do not come naturally to sinful humans. The course of our salvation is a continual working out of our sinful nature (that of selfishness, pride, harshness, hostility, and the like) to be replaced with the virtues listed in this passage. This is not easy and it is not free.
So, today, I challenge you to constantly remind yourself to work toward these virtues. Put on compassion when someone gets on your nerves. Put on kindness when someone does not do what you asked. Put on humility when you are treated unjustly. Put on gentleness when the first thing you want to do is scream back at the driver that just cut you off. And lastly, put on peace. Put on peace when you are interrupted, insulted, and offended. Do this because you are “God’s chosen people” and you are holy and dearly loved.