Weekly Devotional – Wednesday, March 16, 2022
“What Are You Wearing?”
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12, NLT)
Much of the spiritual apparel identified by Paul in his letter to the Colossians wouldn’t make it to the top of many lists these days. Want to be a great leader? Want to succeed? Want to get ahead? Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience might make the list, but certainly wouldn’t make up the top five. Want to become spiritually mature? Want to follow Jesus? Want to be identified with him? For too many, they still don’t make the top of the list…to our own detriment.
To be a follower of Jesus means to become like him…to literally mirror him in his attitudes and actions. When we consider the earthly life of Jesus, these qualities identified by Paul come to the top. Jesus was all of these things and more. He lived his life sacrificially…and never begrudgingly. He demonstrated a level of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience toward others that made his message irresistible. Can the same be said of us? And if not, why not?
The concept of ‘love’ can sometimes be treated as an intangible force by even those within the Christian faith. But when Jesus talked about the need to love others, he also showed us how to go about loving. There was nothing intangible about it. His compassion moved him to put aside his own needs to care for the crowds, setting aside his own grief to teach, heal and provide a meal for 5000+ people; his kindness transformed a hardened tax collector when he invited himself over for dinner; his humility caused him to berate the disciples and invite the children brought for his blessing into his arms; his gentleness welcomed the ministrations of the woman who anointed his feet all the while under the accusing glare of his dinner host; his patience molded his disciples, from being ever ready to jostle for positions of power and prestige, into servants who would continue his mission.
Jesus didn’t just behave with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience on occasion when it suited him, but rather embodied these qualities. When people look at us, do they recognize these qualities in us? Is the message of God’s love for all people as irresistible coming from our lips as it was when Jesus spoke? If not, you may want to take a long hard look in the mirror of God’s word. Can we recognize these qualities in our own lives or not? If not, others won’t either…and we will be guilty of not imitating the One we claim to follow.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!