My grandchildren Abigail and Paul, ages 5 and 3, are inseparable playmates.
Abigail most of the time wants to play some kind of Princess pretend–Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty–and Paul is very often decked out as a Princess as well.
He is a good sport about dressing up. They take turns playing damsel in distress and the other Very Mean Person–witch, Wicked Stepmother, what have you.
Because we are a few days away from Halloween (my least favorite calendar occasion) I’m thinking often about costumes and playing dress up. The outfits are everywhere.
For most children, like Abi and Paul, I’m sure the lure of Halloween is the chance to:
1) Dress up and pretend
2) Get more candy in one night than your parents will ever allow you to eat.
Granted, All Hallow’s Eve (Hallowed E’en) has turned into a much darker holiday than it was 10, 15, 20 years ago, which the Enemy often takes advantage of.
This post is not about that.
This is about putting on clothes that change who we are.
I realized this week that’s actually a Biblical idea.
The passage of scripture that I’ve been chewing on the last several weeks is from
Colossians Chapter 3, verses 12 and 14:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves<sup class="crossreference" value="(AA)”> with
compassion, kindness, humility,<sup class="crossreference" value="(AB)”> gentleness and patience.<sup class="crossreference" value="(AC)”>
And over all these virtues put on love,<sup class="crossreference" value="(AF)”>
which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Take compassion and kindness off the hanger as you would a shirt or coat,
pull on humility as a pair of boots,
wrap the scarf of gentlenss and patience around your neck
and top it all off with a hat that says ‘Love.’
A simple child-like idea, but the metaphor works for me.
Paul mentions this ‘putting on’ again in his letter to the Ephesians. It must be an important idea, this being purposeful about our ‘clothing.’
“Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God
has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Holiness is a tall order.
And frankly I don’t feel compassionate or kind or gentle 24 hours of every day. It is not my nature to be those things.
But I have the nature of God in me. The Scripture says I was created for righteousness.
God’s not waiting for me to feel those things–he just said to be intentional –put the clothes on. Wear them. Act like you’re a Christian.
And sometines it is like just like acting–we pretend to be patient when we’d like to be anything BUT. We act kind when we’re exhausted, use gentle words instead of lashing out. It is all a miracle of the God’s power in us to even do that.
Then what happens?
Those little steps of obedience turn us into Christ’s likeness one decision at a time. We become like Jesus.
How I long for that–putting on patience (I see it as a pair of overalls; patience is work for me).
Husband Bill and I a few Harvest Parties ago…
Just there–I’ll start with patience.
Choosing to play dress up and be like Jesus.
How about you?
What’re you wearing this week?
More great reads in those places….