The Well-Dressed Christian

Today, we’re continuing to “get dressed.” The Apostle Paul told the Colossians to:

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful (Colossians 3:12 – 15).

In the morning, I stumble around the bedroom tangled in the sheets until I catch myself on the dresser. The top drawer contains my socks, so I put on a pair and then try to find something to match. Paul says the well-dressed Christian will put on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” so let’s open the drawer and discover what he is talking about.

Compassionate hearts – I always liked the King James version: “bowels of mercies.” It’s actually closer to the Greek word splanchna (σπλάγχνα) which means “viscera or entrails – the center of emotions.” In modern English we say “heart,” but I think it takes “guts” to be compassionate because compassion doesn’t turn away or ignore someone else’s plight. If we’re dressed with compassionate hearts, we will become involved!

Kindness – “the quality of being helpful or beneficial, goodness, kindness, generosity.” Christians should make this world a better place!

Humility – In a world filled with pride, sometimes it is hard to be humble, but it is worth the effort! Sinful pride is arrogant. It is the sin of exalting oneself and placing one’s own interests above those of others. Pride craves admiration and even adoration and will not share the limelight. Rather, Christians should:

“…give preference to one another in honor,” (Romans 12:10).

Humility is as important for Christians to put on as our pants!

Meekness – is not weakness! The word translated meekness here requires strength. It is not easily angered because a meek person has nothing to prove. He is full of quiet confidence.

Finally, put on the hat of patience. You know there are many synonyms in the Greek Bible that are translated patience in English. This one is a particularly godly quality that the King James Version translated “longsuffering.” It is the patient endurance we all admire. I think of this quality as a hat that keeps the searing sun of trials off our heads.

There you have it: the five qualities every well-dressed Christian will be wearing today: compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

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