Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

"Dress in the wardrobe God picked our for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it." ~Colossians 3:12-14, The Message

Can you remember the last time someone had to help you get dressed? I can...it was after my hip surgery. It was quite a humbling experience to have to rely on someone to help me get my clothes off and on. Today's passage makes me realize that I am in daily need of help if I want to put on the garments God has set out for me to wear. When I meditate on this, I see the beautiful picture it paints, and I want to be clothed like this. But if I am going to dress in this fashion, I have to accept the fact that I am going to need help ~ a lot of it!
Let's look inside God's armour and go through it one layer at a time. "Dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline." I don't know about you, but I am already overwhelmed. Wear all of that? Daily? Notice that the first garment is compassion. Is this not the starting point ~ the undergarment ~ of the other four? If I am not dressed in compassion, I might as well not even bother with the other four articles of clothing. Without compassion, an act of kindness can become an insulting gesture that mocks the recipient. Humility is just a nicer word for self-pity and self-hatred. Quiet strength is simply arrogant self-sufficiency. And discipline is a legalistic regimen that attracts no one. (Hmm...these sound more like the garments that have been hanging in my closet!)
If this is true, I need to have compassion. But here's the thing...I cannot put it on myself. I can cooperate as my Dressmaker fits it on me. But I need his help to squeeze into this crucial undergarment.
Is this a fun and enjoyable experience? NO...it's usually very painful, humiliating, and embarrassing. But if I want the outfit as a whole to work, I have to cooperate. And when I do, I find it isn't such a nightmare afterall.
Tomorrow I will look at our next layer in this new wardrobe. I hope you'll join me as we see how God wants to fashion us just to his liking.

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." ~George Eliot       

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