As followers of Christ, we are called to put on the traits He has chosen for us, like we put on clothing. In Colossians, Paul lists the attributes we are to wear:
COMPASSION- to have a deep sympathy for one another and a strong desire to alleviate their suffering. This is to be genuine, not for selfish motives.
KINDNESS- having a loving and generous nature. This kindness is not only to be expressed to people we agree with or like, but to all people. In spending my lifetime involved in a church body, I have often seen this trait lacking. As my oldest daughter once broke my heart by commenting, “The church is called live and love as Jesus did, but often it seems to be the farthest from that”. We need to change that perception!
HUMBLENESS- to have a low estimate of our own importance. Not to look at what WE want or believe WE need, rather to look at what God desires of us and how we are to serve others.
DISCIPLINE- to be controlled and focused on what needs to be done. To complete the tasks God calls us to. We are to have strength under restraint, therefore, slow to anger or annoyance.
CONTENTMENT- an internal satisfaction and peace that does not demand changes to the external circumstances. A joy in being second and placing God and His work in other people’s lives ahead of our own desires.
FORGIVING- a conscious decision to release feelings of anger, resentment, or vengeance toward a person or group who you perceive has hurt you, whether they deserve it or not. We are called to do this quickly. Not to hold on to the anger and become bitter. But, to forgive as we have been forgiven by our Heavenly Father. That’s a high calling!
As I read these words, I think of my daughters Rachel and Lily. They love clothes, hair bows, and necklaces. They get excited when I buy them new outfits in their favorite colors of purple and pink. My choosing their wardrobe communicates love and care to them. How beautiful is it that our Heavenly Father has chosen a wardrobe for us! He wants us to dress in a manner fitting for the children of the King.
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.