Change Your Spiritual Wardrobe
Colossians 3:12-13, “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the LORD has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.”
Many people during the spring, clean out their closets. They go through their clothing items that do not fit anymore, or are outdated and donate them or toss them out.
I remember as I grew older doing a purge and finding items that I used to wear in my 20’s before I knew the Lord. I tried them on and looked in the mirror and thought, this isn’t you anymore. You are different now and what do you look like as God’s child leaving the house with this on?
Sometimes changing clothes is hard. We attach memories to items. We remember the emotions we felt while wearing them. We might even remember the fleeting pleasures of sin and have an urge to rise up against our spirit man.
Regardless, new levels in life require outfit changes and that is where we land today in our blog post. Paul starts off by reminding them (Christians) again of their identity in Christ. He calls us chosen ones, holy and loved.
When we were kids and we played in the neighborhood we used to pick teams. It was exciting to be chosen first, but heartbreaking when we were chosen last. God has chosen you and I to reach this next generation, to make a kingdom impact in our circles of influence.
If you have been rejected by man, God has chosen you. Let that truth permeate your mind today. The God of the entire Universe has chosen you and I to be used by Him to give him glory. That should make us shout Hallelujah!
Next, he uses the word holy. When I first began my walk with the LORD, I equated holiness with boredom. I didn’t want to be holy because I was in my flesh and I was focusing on all of the things that I had to stop doing.
Previously in the chapter, Paul told the Colossians what they should put to death according to their old nature, but in today's verse he focuses them on what to start doing. That is the beauty about God, whenever he tells us to put off something, usually there is a putting on of something else.
Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."
When we choose to not live holy, others can not see the Lord. There should be a purity about us as a people. A sacredness to say. If God calls us holy then we need to be holy. God would not call us to something he hasn’t provided the grace for us to accomplish.
Then he calls us loved. Sometimes if we have been deprived of love from others it’s hard to feel loved by God. I can assure you that we are loved deeply by Him. Sometimes we need to make a decision to believe that regardless of how you and I feel.
I pray that you would believe by faith that you are completely and utterly loved by God. Before Paul encourages us to put on these next items, he reminds us who we are in Christ. In light of that, we should be motivated to put on the traits on this list.
A few years back in America, we witnessed another man lynched by the Police Department. The police officer kneeled on this man’s neck and suffocated him to death for 5-7 minutes while this man cried out “I can’t breathe.” Three other police officers watched as his life drained out of him. It was devastating. It was sickening. It was sin. It was racially motivated, and unfortunately, it has been going on for years in this country, but the only difference now is that it is being filmed.
We have a choice as believers to show compassion. We have a choice to put ourselves in the victim’s shoes and show heartfelt empathy. Sadly, many will stay silent and try to look the other way. Many will refuse to show compassion to people groups who have been marginalized and mistreated for 400 plus years and will continue to ignore the injustice that is happening to our black and brown communities.
Paul tells us that we need to put on heartfelt compassion. Compassion is defined as; sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. This is not a suggestion; this is a command.
The world has crept into the church. In our culture today, we block, delete, unfriend, and hide behind screens instead of cultivating real relationships. We are rude to others and unkind. This attitude has crept into the church. We look like the world and there is no difference. The watching world experiences rudeness instead of kindness. This ought not be so. We are supposed to be different.
The bible says, in Romans 2:4, “that it is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance.” How else will unrepentant sinners see the kindness of God if we are the ones God chooses to use, but refuse to be kind?
Maybe it is hard to be kind to someone who has hurt you, or purposely betrayed you, but remember we are God’s chosen ones. We need to go first and demonstrate that God’s people operate differently.
In a world full of “Me first” people, we as Christians are encouraged to esteem other’s more highly than ourselves. Humility is not a "be thing" it’s a do thing. We need to get low. When people rise against us, get low. When we’re are in a heated argument, get low. When others are wigged out in sin and we want to go off on them, get low.
Taking the posture of humility always get’s God’s attention and causes him to act on our behalf. Physically get low, on your face before the LORD and cry out to Him and watch him Act!
When we deliver the truth to someone, is there a gentleness to our words? Is there a softness in our demeaner where people would consider us approachable? Do we jam the bible down other people’s throats? Are we harsh with our words?
I’ve seen too many Christians trying to share the Good News in a bad mood. People aren’t buying what we are selling. Think of a person's hair all knotted up. One wouldn't just take a brush and start ripping through that person's head, that would be excruciatingly painful. And yet this is sometimes how we behave towards others who have made a mess with their lives.
Gentleness would be displayed in picking up a comb and gently detangling the hair. Be gentle towards one another.
In a world that screams tolerate me, I see a lack of patience towards people who do not agree with certain agendas or lifestyles. I see a lack of patience towards others who are difficult to love. But while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
How quick we forget the patience God had toward us when we were living as enemies of the cross. God forgive us for the times we demand grace and mercy from others but refuse to give it in return.
Accepting One Another
Although this goes hand in hand with the next point, I want to remind us that we all fall short. Non believers like us, are flawed, but we are all made in the image of God. They are fallen human beings just like us and they deserve to be respected and loved where they are.
Let’s focus on bringing the good news of the gospel, planting seeds and let the Holy Spirit work. God is no respecter of person, neither should we be. We need to love our neighbors regardless of race, class, or status.
Stop focusing on the externals and see people as made in the image of God in desperate need of a Savior.
Forgiving One Another just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive
Learning about forgiveness and applying it has transformed my life. This was and is a game changer for me. It was taught to me a few years ago by my previous pastor and I hope I can teach it to you the same way it was taught to me.
The bible calls for total, unilateral, immediate forgiveness. Total-for every offense. Unilateral- EVERY PERSON, not just some people but everyone! Immediate-right away, not I’ll forgive when they apologize, or when I feel like it.
It’s I choose to forgive _____________ for _______________.
After you have written the person’s name down, make a commitment to these three things:
I won’t bring it up to that person anymore
I won’t bring it up to other’s anymore
I won’t bring it up to myself
If and when I fail in the process, I’ll go back to the crisis of the forgiveness I needed. While I was a sinner Christ died for me. I will forgive just as Christ forgave me, just as fast, just as freely, and just as fully. I choose to forgive!
I promise you if you go through these steps, not perfectly but increasingly, your life will change and transform.
It's time for a Spiritual outfit change Beloved. It's time to take off those old clothes of selfishness, unforgiveness, rudeness, impatience, and change clothes.
By the way our website as well as our Etsy shop has some great choices to choose from. As you allow God to change you from the inside out, your outer man is going to want to reflect the new you! Shop today! 838apparel.com
Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, please forgive us for the times we have worn the worlds clothes. Forgive us for not acting out of our identity in Christ and misrepresenting you. Forgive us for the times we have lacked heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience toward others. Lord forgive our implicit biases and lack of acceptance of others. Help us to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us, just as fast, just as freely, and just as fully. Lord, every time we partake in the Lord’s table help us to remember all that you sacrificed for us and forgave us for. Lord change our clothes spiritually and help us to put on our new kingdom outfits to reflect your beauty and your glory! In Jesus Mighty Name AMEN!
Confession for Today
I confess that I am chosen by God to represent Him on earth. I confess that I am holy and loved by God. I confess that I put on the kingdom outfits of heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, and acceptance of one another. I confess that I choose to forgive others. I confess that the way I forgive others is how God will forgive me. I confess that I will walk in newness of life clothed in these traits by faith in Jesus Mighty Name! AMEN!