Turn on your TV any Sunday afternoon during football season and you’ll see fervent and ardent fans who are afflicted with a severe case of monomania. They have willingly abdicated their Monday through Friday reputation; morphed into Sunday fanatics; and clothed themselves in the colors of their favorite team.
Paul recognized the importance of team loyalty, and spoke of being identified with Christ. Just as a loyal fan shows his allegiance by wearing the team colors, you can do the same when you, “Clothe yourself with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).”
To be fashionably attired, I suggest you clothe yourself in the virtues Paul mentioned:
- Mercy is not giving the punishment or judgment that is deserved. Just as a heart is essential for life, mercy pumps the life blood into kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
- A quote by Henry James emphasizes the importance of kindness: “Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer must have been thinking of kindness when he wrote: “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
- In a time when people clothe themselves in rudeness and crudeness, humility is seen as a tattered rag that’s destined for the second-hand store. Humility is the idea of lowliness of mind in contrast to high-minded narcissism, and it’s seen in the life of the falsely accused who is more concerned with the truth than he is with his ego or reputation.
There seems to be a correlation between humility and civility–the more you see of one the more you see of the other.
- A good definition of gentleness is found in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians: “We were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.”
- Patience is the ability to endure hardships, discomfort, and persecution without complaint. In Romans 5, Paul said: “We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces patient endurance, and this endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
You may want to check your closet to see if your clothes reflect your allegiance to Team Jesus.