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Colossians 3:9–14 ‘Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (v12)

What clothes do we don? The world often gives us stinky rags, such as those slapped on a young girl who was called ‘fat face’.

Our hearts sink when we hear stories such as these, and we pray that young people enduring such abuse will be able to put on the garments of God’s chosen people and to ‘forgive as the Lord’ forgives them (v13).

We yearn that they would know they are ‘holy and dearly loved’ and not be defined by the cruel utterances of others; to know that because they are made in God’s image they are beautiful.

And all the more so when they clothe themselves ‘with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’ (v12).

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Think for a few moments of the virtues of which Paul speaks. He wants us to wear the robes of compassion, that we would grieve with those who are grieving as we extend grace and understanding to them.

We put ourselves in their shoes. Also, we don the clothes of kindness, which enable us to look outside ourselves to meet the needs of others.

And humility, putting the needs and desires of others above our own needs. And gentleness, applying tender mercy on those whom we think don’t deserve it.

And patience, which can mean not getting stroppy when we have to wait for others. And above all, binding together these virtues with love, that which covers a multitude of sins.

What a gorgeous set of clothes these are, accented by forgiveness and topped off with the best garment ever – love. If we all were to wear these clothes, we’d achieve the perfect unity of which Paul speaks.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord God, help me to wear Your robes, that my life may be attractive to all those I meet who don’t yet know You. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Consider how you’re clothed today, using Paul’s terms. If you need to take off some rags and put on God’s royal robes, do so with joy.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 1:26–27; Prov. 31:30–31; 1 Pet. 3:3–4; 1 John 3:1–2

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.