"The Designer's Wardrobe" (Colossians 3:12) What are the best dressed Christians wearing?
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness and long suffering."
Tender Mercies (compassion) - this is how we respond to the needs of others. It is the ability to see and feel their pain. Compassion is more than a feeling. It is a feeling that produces action.
- Mark 1:41 "then Jesus moved with compassion stretched out His hand and touched him"
- Matthew 20:34 "so Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes"
I am frequently moved to this level of compassion -- to the place where I "take on" the burden of one suffering. For example: news reports of abused children always lead me to tearfully petitioning the Lord for those involved.
Are you moved to compassion or do you take a passive stance when tragedy affects others?
Kindness - a quality of benevolence, of wishing them well and desiring to do them good. Compassion is a reaction to others. Kindness is an attitude toward them. It is an "others-centered" point of view.
- Romans 2:4 "the goodness of God leads us to repentence"
Kindness = Goodness
Kindness to me is always wanting the best for others whatever that is for them. As I mentor women and hear their stories, kindness is important in that they know I care for them. I may not agree with their choices, but I love them where they are regardless through kindness.
Have you shown kindness to one who may have offended you despite the offense?
Humility - a holy unawareness of self, a whole life focused on God.
- Matthew 12:29 "for I am gentle and lowly in heart..."
Gosh, how important is it that we die daily to ourselves? Humilty, which is the opposite of pride is one of those qualities I must ask for every single day. Pride, rooted in a spirit of fear, will keep me from enjoying the benefits of God's favor and blessing.
When asked to do something out of your element or personal level of comfort, do you humbly submit or pridefully resist?
Meekness (gentleness) - strength under control; not using one's power against another. This fruit of The Spirit has to be cultivated, it doesn't just happen.
- Phillipians: 4-5 "Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand"
When we understand our position in Christ - that God is for us, that He is able to help and protect us - we won't need to fight or argue or jockey for position. We will be free to be gentle, for the Lord is near. He will take care of what needs to be cared for.
The Lord has taught me this fruit of the Spirit and with time to cultivated it. As I grow more secure in my position in Christ, I no longer feel the need to have my way or say. Confidence is birth when we know our Maker intimately in "the secret place" of His Presence.
When faced with an unpleasant situation do you have to get your two cents in or are you confident enough in Christ to know He is bigger than the controversy?
Long Suffering (Patience) - long suffering in the face of insult or injury means more than just enduring difficulties or passive resignation to the circumstances. It is based on a lively, outgoing faith in God and is to be exercised toward everyone.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 "... be patient with all"
Patience is not passive resignation at all, but peaceful relinquishment!
Think about patience the next time you are in the grocery line on the night of a major snowstorm heading your way or when you're shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve (yes, I do this!!) :) -- how one reacts under pressure is a good gauge of whether or not they have developed patience at a level pleasing to the Father.
God's request is simple. Walk in love and intimacy with Me and I will show what pleases Me. I want to walk closely with God every day and to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. It's a journey but if we stay the course our lives will take on more victory than disappointment.
GBY! Barbara :)
- This biog is an extension of HOPE Ministry and "The Secret Place" -- if it has sown a blessing into your life please consider sowing back into the ministry at the website link below: