12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. “
I have a friend who shared with me a philosophy for when I get down on myself (or get a little too high on my horse): “You’re not as terrible as you THINK you are, but you’re also not as awesome as people SAY you are.”
Many of us wear our titles like badges of honor. Pastor, doctor/nurse, lawyer, manager, teacher/professor, student, business owner…our titles can quickly become engulfed in our identities.
As a pastor I often wear my clergy collar-especially when I do nursing home visits or hospital visits. It’s a simple dress that allows the staff to immediately identify who I am. Unfortunately, a few times the staff began to panic after seeing me walking up with my black shirt and white clergy collar thinking I was a catholic priest coming to administer last rites to someone…I quickly assured them that I was just a Methodist pastor and was stopping by to check in on a long time member.
Scrubs, police uniforms, and expensive business suits are additional ways we dress for the jobs we have. Many of us have worked really hard to get the jobs we have and through that process become, in some ways, part of who we are.
Our scripture reading today challenges each of us to think differently and to act differently.
The author of Colossians is challenging us to dress ourselves not in what defines our work ethic, our job titles, or even cover our insecurities but rather “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Someone might see us and know we are a nurse or a doctor in our scrubs or an officer in our uniform but do they know us as God’s people by our compassion and kindness?
They might know that we are successful by the way we present ourselves in our careers and community but do they know us as children of God by our humility, patience, and gentleness.
Scripture tells us we are to love each other because we are first loved by God (1 John 4:19). We express love each other by being kind, patient, humble, compassionate, and gentle with each other. Every one of us is living a life full of challenge, heartbreak at times, joy, and uncertainty-may we be sensitive to the brokenness that exists in all of us.
How much greater this world would be if ALL of us Christians would simply strip away our masks and shells to be replaced with compassion or patience or humility or gentleness or kindness. What if we clothed ourselves eventually with not just one but with them all? What would this community look like? This world?
May you find yourself conduits of peace this week as God’s grace flows through you and in you. May you be the change we so desperately need in our world today. I pray you have a blessed Valentine’s Day and regardless of your “romantic situation”-may you be reminded that you are deeply loved by God and so many.
New Session Starts:
November 24, 2019
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