Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.. Colossians 3:14
While removing the price tag from an item of winter clothing I had purchased, I smiled at these words on the back: “WARNING: This innovative product will make you want to go outdoors and stay there.” When properly clothed for the climate, a person can survive and even thrive in harsh and changing weather conditions.
The same principle is true in our spiritual lives. As followers of Jesus, our all-weather spiritual wardrobe has been prescribed by the Lord in His Word, the Bible. “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. . . . Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col. 3:12–13 emphasis added). These garments that God provides—such as kindness, humility, and gentleness—allow us to meet hostility and criticism with patience, forgiveness, and love. They give us staying power in the storms of life. When we face adverse conditions at home, school, or work, the “clothing” God tells us to wear protects us and enables us to make a positive difference. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (v. 14). Dressing according to God’s guidelines doesn’t change the weather—it equips the wearer.
Heavenly Father, help me to put on Your garment of love so that I am prepared for whatever life brings me today.
Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.
What does it take to dress for spiritual success? When writing to followers of Jesus in Colossae, the apostle Paul may have been influenced by the regional clothing industry. His first readers lived in an area of modern-day western Turkey that wove a beautiful dark-red wool cloth ( for which their city was famous. What we do know, however, is that Paul’s allusion to being clothed in Christ is more important than a regional textile industry or global custom. In behalf of Jesus, Paul urged them—and us—to clothe ourselves in the kind of love that does far more than call attention to ourselves. It is a caring that binds all goodness together in the eye-catching unity of Christ. Mart DeHaan