Thursday, May 19, 2016

Get Dressed Up

When you woke up this morning, how long did you spend getting ready to head out the door? Did
you take a while trying to pick out what to wear? Are you one of those people who picks out their clothes the night before? Did it need ironing? How long did you spend on your hair? Makeup? Shaving?  Making oneself presentable can take a little while, can’t it? That’s especially true if you’re trying to make a good impression. Who of us hasn’t agonized over which shirt or dress to wear on a date? I admit that I spend a little more time getting ready on Sunday mornings than I do on Saturday mornings. 

For all the effort we put into our physical appearances, the apostle Paul writes we should put even more effort into our spiritual appearances. He writes to the Christians in Colossae that we are to “clothe [ourselves] with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience . . . and over all these virtues put on love.” What a beautiful image. Every morning, just as we put on our physical clothes, we are to clothe ourselves with those virtues that make us look like Jesus. Paul’s words remind us that wearing this clothing is often a conscious effort. If I don’t choose to wear kindness today, I’ll likely be mean spirited. If I forget to consciously choose to put on humility, I run the risk of being caught in public wearing only my pride – far worse than being caught in your bathrobe if you ask me!

But how do we choose such things? Well, just like it takes time to get physically ready in the morning, it also takes time to get spiritually ready. James reminds us that God’s Word acts as a mirror for our souls (James 1:22-25). Spending time reading our Bibles helps us to be ready for the day. Spending time in prayer asking God to dress us up for the day can have the same effect. You can even do both at once. You could memorize Colossians 3:12-14 by writing it on a note card and putting it on your bathroom mirror. Then use it as a centering prayer as you get ready every morning. That is, repeat the verse in the form of a prayer over and over as you comb your hair and brush your teeth and take a shower as a way of getting dressed up in these virtues.  And as you head out the door, don’t forget the most important part of all, throw on that coat of love which binds up the whole Christian life in one beautiful ensemble.

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature – Romans 13:14.

Online resources
  • Youversion.com – This is a free Bible program for your phone, tablet, or computer. It allows you to sign up for daily Bible readings and will help you develop the holy habit of staying in God’s word.
  •  Biblegateway.com – This is another app / website that offers free access to many versions of the Bible. It also has several reading plans you can sign up for.
  • D365.org – This is an online devotional that’s simple, well done, and helpful for starting the day well. They have an app for your mobile device as well.
  • ODB.org – This is the web version of Our Daily Bread, a devotional resource that has been around for ages. You can even download the devotionals as a podcast to listen to in the car or on the go. 

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