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. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. ”  COLOSSIANS 3:12-14  The Message 

Wow….what an amazing scripture to challenge us as we shine a light on our own heart condition.  I must admit when I heard that we were discussing this verse, it made me a bit anxious.  I knew that God was calling me to a moment of inventory where I would have to examine my life first, before I could speak about it.   Am I embodying this scripture out fully in my own life? Were there areas that I struggled in and needed God’s help.  The answer was easy…Yes.

This is why I am beyond thankful for His perfect love which, as the bible says, covers a multitude of my sins. The truth is, we are all on a journey and there may be specific areas that we may need to work on…and that’s okay. Some of us may be pros in the kindness & compassion category, for instance, but really could use some help in the forgiveness department. As Believers, we can get overwhelmed trying to wear this list of attributes well.

I encourage you, as a first step, to think more about the ‘wardrobe’ that we all need to take off in order to put on the one that God has picked out for us.  When you think about getting dressed for a special occasion, we would never put our formal outfit on right over our work clothes, would we? No. We would take off our previous garments before putting on the new ones. If we don’t, we will find that either the new clothes won’t fit well or at all.

So as You and I think about this scripture this week, let’s ask ourselves what do we need to ‘take off’ in order to ‘put on’? Perhaps it’s unforgiveness, pride, competitiveness,  anger or maybe something else that God is revealing even as you’re reading this.  It’s not easy to do this type of self assessment but it is so necessary for growth & movement.  My prayer is that You would know God’s unconditional, unwavering love as You acknowledge and surrender these stumbling blocks to Him. Simply ask Him to do the work and He will fill your heart with compassion, humility, kindness, forgiveness & discipline. He will make your heart new…that’s His speciality.

Let’s pray into this together, for a moment:   Father God, we thank You for your unconditional & unwavering love toward us.  We acknowledge that we are a work in progress and far from perfect.  Help us to strip away the things that are not like You….the things that stand in our way of being what You desire us to be.  We surrender our hearts and minds to You and ask that You would do the surgery that is needed.  Please remove the things that grieve Your heart and fill us to overflow with compassion, kindness, forgiveness, quiet strength, discipline, humility…and most of all, love.  Please surround us with Your grace as we walk this journey of daily renewal. Thank you Lord. Amen.