What's In Your Faith Wardrobe?
Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out 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.
We all have staple items in our wardrobes that we pull out of the closet time and time again. It may be that basic pair of black slacks or that favorite white blouse or perhaps that all too raggedy and yet uber comfortable sweater. Whatever your staple clothing item may be, you know that it will fit you perfectly and give you the comfort, warmth, softness and wearability you want and need as you dress for the day. You would never think of parting with that particular item of clothing if you cleaned out your closet. There are most likely other favorite items in your closet that over time you have learned pair perfectly with that favorite pair of slacks or blouse or sweater. You have paired these items into an ensemble so often that you don't even give it a second thought as you pull these items out of the closet. Your choice for this ensemble has become a habit over time. You know it will work. It's your style. It's you.
Today's scripture from Colossians talks about a whole different type of wardrobe. It is a wardrobe chosen for us by God. We know that people sometimes have others who serve as their "stylists" assisting in choosing just the right clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup and hairstyles that will portray the person in a certain light. Well, today's scripture points out that God is our "stylist" when it comes to faith. And there are particular items of clothing that He wants us to have in our wardrobes. And, He doesn't just want us to have these items in our wardrobes to look at or take out on occasion. He actually wants us to WEAR these items ALL the time.
I don't know about you, but I know I have certain articles in my closet which are oh so pretty. I bought them thinking that I would look lovely wearing that color or design. I looked forward so much to pairing that article of clothing with other items I own-a pair of shoes or a particular belt or necklace. But, somehow when I dressed in the clothes and looked in the mirror it just wasn't me. The clothing was too tight, the color wasn't right, the material was scratchy, it made me look frumpy. What was I thinking when I purchased it? Why did I ever think this garment would work for me? And yet, do I get rid of it? No. I put it right back in my closet. I bought it after all. Maybe "someday" it will work. Somehow, even though I should know by now what is "right" for me in terms of clothing, I still make style mistakes. And some of those mistakes are hard for me to part with.
With God as my stylist, there are no mistakes. He knows me inside and out and knows exactly what articles of clothing I need to have in my faith closet. If I allow God to determine what I wear I know it will fit perfectly and when I look in the mirror my reflection won't matter so much because the reflection I see will be God's reflection and not my own.
But, wait you say? Some of those articles of clothing may not be comfortable? They may not be a perfect fit? I understand all too well. I know that often when I check into my faith closet, some of these items are missing. I mean....content to be second place? I have played second fiddle both literally and figuratively many times in my life. And I didn't always like it! After all, being second isn't "as good" as being first in our world, right? Number 1 rules and all that! And who can be disciplined all the time or even tempered? I have been known to throw a few fits from time to time. And, let's talk forgiveness, shall we? It's all too easy to say "forgive and forget" but doing it....truly offering forgiveness is something else entirely isn't it? This idea of God being our "stylist" can get a little touchy, yes? Maybe I just want to be my own stylist and, even though the items I pick out to wear are scratchy or too tight or just aren't me I'll hang onto them anyway putting them back in my closet for "someday."
Thankfully, God understands each of us better than we understand ourselves. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.." Our difficulties with faith are known to God and He is not surprised by them. As our "faith stylist" God is there to assist us with finding the right article of clothing that we need at the time whether it be compassion or humility or even "playing second fiddle." And here is the best part....if a particular item of clothing we need is missing from our closet of faith, God will supply it!
Dear readers, I don't mean to minimize how difficult some of these articles of faith clothing can be to wear. When we have been hurt or misused or worn down, forgiveness and compassion and quiet strength and humility can all be difficult to wear. I struggle, just like each of you, to choose the right articles of clothing from my closet. I sometimes take them off and thrown them down and cry and say, "But, Lord, why me? Why do I have to be the one to forgive? Why do I have to be humble? Why do I have to play second fiddle? Why? Why? Why?"
And that is when the Lord goes to my closet and pulls out that one article of clothing that never fails. It is that staple item that always fits, never scratches or makes me look frumpy. It is warm and soft and wraps my body in comfort never binding or uncomfortable. It is the sweater of God's love. It is our "basic all purpose garment and we should never be without it."
If those other garments are missing from your faith closet right now.....just reach in and pull out your Love sweater. It will always fit. It is your style. It is God's style. Amen.
"We love because He first loved us."
Until Next Time,
Comments are always welcome and are blessings to my day!
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