Have you ever noticed that what you wear affects your mood? I have. Take the dress in this picture, for example. I love it. It fits me well and the colors are tantalizing and tastefully patterned. Whenever I wear it, I feel like a princess. I stand straighter, walk more gracefully, and feel more confident. It’s even been known to turn a crummy day into a happier one. Funny how a simple outfit can do that to a girl.
Colossians 3 talks about a different kind of clothes that can make all the difference in the Christian’s life. But these outfits aren’t made from cloth. They’re made from attitudes and habits.
n my opinion, this is one of those “wow” verses. First, we’re called God’s chosen people. Think about that. I mean, it’s one thing to get chosen first for a sandlot sport team among friends and acquaintances. It makes you feel good right? But we’re talking about something so much greater here: we’re talking about being chosen by the God of the universe. The Greek word that translates to “chosen” means more than just “selected.” It signifies favor. Lots of it.
Let that sink in: If you belong to Christ, God highly favors you.
That, in and of itself, is a sermon. But the verse goes on to also call us a couple other things as well. Let’s go back to the idea of being chosen for a sandlot sport team. When you were young, did that mean a lot to you? It did to me. When a team captain chose me, it meant he believed that I would be an asset to his team. So what does it mean to be chosen by God? Well, this verse says that as God’s highly favored people, we are holy—special, set apart, sacred—and dearly loved.
But wait! There’s more! After explaining what we are by nature of whose we are, this verse gives us a very straight-forward command: get dressed. Not with top-of-the-line brands like Zara or REISS. You don’t even have to worry about keeping satin, silk, or cloth-of-gold in your wardrobe in order to please God. Instead, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s not easy to purposefully wear these attitudes and habits. In fact, it’s impossible without the Holy Spirit living in you. But consider the alternative: without Him, it’s far too easy to let your emotions call the shots. Emotions are funny like that. Either we choose to be defined by certain attitudes or else the emotions that we don’t keep in check will call the shots! And yes, Paul spoke to that, too:
“Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature — sexual immorality,
impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); for it is because of these things that God’s anger is coming on those who disobey him. True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; but now, put them all away — anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk.” Colossians 3:5-8, CJB
So, here’s the take away: what defines you? What do people see in you, day in and day out? Are you prone to anger, exasperation, meanness, slander, and filthy, base conversation? Or are you clothed in heaven-spun silk like compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience?
Prayer starter: God, help me to be self-controlled in my emotions. Help me put to death the things that displease You. As Psalms 119:35 says, “Guide me on the path of Your commandments, for I take pleasure in it.”
Many thanks to Ryan Matlock for taking the photo for this post! To view his full portfolio, click here.