If you are married you have either heard these words or had them said to you at one point or another:
“You’re wearing that, are you?”
I’m not the cleverest person in the world but I have come to the conclusion that this question is not 100% sincere. I’ve come to realise that this question is not intended to illicit the response, “Sure am, sweetness!”
The question is put lovingly, it’s meant to get me to question what I have chosen to wear. The correct response is to look down at your clothes and consider what might be wrong with them, and every time my wife ends up being correct and I’m better off for having listened to her.
This came to mind for me as I was reflecting on some scripture that Shelley and I were discussing last week:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
I read this and felt like I was faced with the stark reality the words of the Apostle Paul don’t closely resemble my life. He says I should be clothed with virtue but I can only conclude that I’m often not.
It’s almost like God is saying, “You’re wearing that, are you?”
And as I slowly look down at what I’m ‘wearing’ I realise that my current ‘clothes’ don’t reflect these virtues at all.
Where is my compassion? My kindness? My humility, gentleness or patience? Where are these things in my life? I wondered how different my life would be if these virtues really were something I was ‘clothed’ in? What if I actually obeyed God at this point?
How would I react to those with whom I disagree, with aggression or compassion?
How would I react when I am falsely accused, by leaping to my own defence, or by being humble enough to examine myself?
How would I react to harsh words, with biting words of my own or with gentleness?
How would I react when someone offends me, by holding a grudge or by forgiving them just as the Lord has forgiven me?
Even so there is an encouragement for us. Because clothing ourselves with virtue is not something that leads to salvation, it is a direct consequence of salvation! What does Paul say?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…
It reminds me that I am chosen. I am holy. I am dearly loved. And because I am “God’s” I really need to watch what I wear. I must see to it that I am clothed not only with the righteousness of Christ, but also His compassion and kindness, gentleness and humility.
By the power of the Holy Spirit I will choose the correct clothing each day. Not the clothing of selfishness and sin, but the clothing of virtue and love. But on the days when I don’t put on the right “clothes” I know I can expect a loving question from my God:
You’re wearing that, are you?