Colossians 3:12, NIV
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
When we get dressed in the morning we have a choice over what clothes we are going to wear. We probably think about what we are going to be doing, and then choose appropriate clothing for the occasion. If we have an important appointment, then we will probably choose the best clothes out of the wardrobe. If we are simply having a day around the house, doing our own thing, then we will probably choose some favourite old clothes in which we will feel relaxed and comfortable.
Paul uses the analogy of clothing to give us some idea of what we as Christian people should wear each day – not on our physical body, but as clothing for the person we are. Earlier in this chapter Paul talked about clothing that would be inappropriate for Christians to wear – indeed, he said there are some things we should get rid of from our wardrobe altogether and never even consider wearing. They are the clothes that should be put on the bonfire (put to death) because they belong to our carnal earthly nature.
Things such as immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, for example(Colossians 3:5), shouldn’t be given hanging space in the wardrobe of our life. They are not appropriate for Christians to wear, whatever it is they may be thinking of doing. There are no occasions when it would be right to choose them as the clothing for the day! They won’t bring blessing into our own life, or anyone else’s. Paul also told us (in verse eight) that we must get rid of such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips. And then adds that we mustn’t lie to each other either. All of these things will not only be incompatible with our desire to serve Jesus, but they will also give the enemy entrance to our lives. In another passage, when Paul is saying similar things to the Ephesians, he says, ‘Don’t give the devil a foothold!’ (Ephesians 4:27).
Sometimes the clothes of worldliness can seem very attractive – especially when we feel sorry for ourselves and feel in need of comfort. At times like this we need to throw ourselves wholly on the Lord who is the ‘God of all comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3) and not resort to conduct that would attract the devil’s attention! When Jesus was preparing people for days of great testing, and urging people to flee from all that surrounds them in the world, He said, ‘Remember Lot’s wife’ (Luke 17:32). She looked back with longing to all that she was leaving behind and paid for her sin with her life. It can sometimes be very costly to choose the world’s clothing!
Let’s determine before God that we will get rid of all the clothing from the wardrobe of our life that would cause us to behave shamefully and fill the hangers with appropriate clothing for followers of Jesus to wear at all times.
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to carefully assess the clothing that’s hanging in the wardrobe of my life. If there are things there that I know shouldn’t be worn by a follower of Jesus, help me to clear them all out and only fill my wardrobe with the clothing which comes from the fruit of the Holy Spirit being at work in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.