12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. - Colossians 3:12
The other day, I had coffee with a dear and valuable member of my church. The time together provided me the opportunity to point out the ways I had witnessed compassion and kindness in him that, in my estimation, wasn’t human. I told him that I was taking what I saw as evidence that the Holy Spirit was finding a willing partner in him.
My hope in the conversation was twofold. First, I simply wanted to share how excited I was at being able to witness God reflected in him. Second, I was hoping to encourage him on the off chance that he wasn’t aware.
It is far too often we Christians aren’t aware of the ways God pours into and through us. We have a hard time believing that we, as Paul says in our text, are “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.” But we are. And this is not because of how compassionate, kind, humble, meek, and patient we can be. This is true because God chose us in Jesus. Period. God chose us even when we were anything but compassionate, kind, humble, meek, or patient.
Then a crazy thing starts to happen when we become aware of that chosen-ness. A fantastic thing begins to happen when we believe that we are beloved. We learn to live from that relationship. We live like we are part of who God is and what God is doing. We clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Often, that starts pretty small… so small that, maybe, no one notices. But it shapes us as willing partners with the God who continues to choose us… pours his love into us. Thus shaped, we clothe ourselves a bit more… shaping us more… clothing us more until we find people over coffee remarking about the ways they see God’s fingerprints all over us.
I like those kinds of coffees. I am in awe of the way that God choses and clothes his people… even people like us.
Jesus, open our eyes today to know your great love for us. Help us to believe that you have chosen to pour the fullness of yourself into us. Inspire us to partner with you by clothing ourselves for the relationship. May our lives slowly begin to testify to You with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.