Dress for Success
Bible Reading: Colossians 3:5-15
Colossians 3:12-14, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another. If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
There used to be a show on TV called, “What Not to Wear.” The premise of the show was to find some person who needed some drastic improvement when it came to their wardrobe. Two fashion experts provided advice and clothing to the poorly dressed slob. Then, at the end of the show, the now well-dressed person would be unveiled to the oohs and aahs of his or her family and friends.
Spiritually speaking, we live and exist in a “What Not to Wear” reality. None of us, by nature, are properly attired for heaven. Something must be done if we are to gain access. This can only happen through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet once saved, there is work to be done. There is still a need to concern oneself with our garments (so to speak). That is the focus of our text. The phrases “laid aside” and “put on” come from terms which were used regarding the putting off and putting on of clothing (Colossians 3:9, 12).
Considering your new identity in Christ, there are certain attitudes and actions you are to put off. You are to cast them from you as stinky and smelly garments. What are they? One list is given in Colossians 3:5. Another list appears in Colossians 3:8-9.
And, in light of your new identity in Christ, there are attitudes and actions you are to put on which are consistent and appropriate. Having been born again you have a new identity, as one of “God’s chosen ones” (Colossians 3:12). You are His child. You belong to Him. You are also “holy.” You’ve been set apart from the world, unto God. The garbs of sin adorned by the lost in this world, are not appropriate for those who belong to Christ.
Believers are “beloved” by God. How shall we dress as his children? What sort of attire should we wear? The children of Kings dress in royal attire. So what shall those belonging to the King of Kings wear? Those destined to a Wedding Ceremony don their best clothing, what is appropriate dress for those destined towards heaven? Attitudes and actions such as: “Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience; bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also much forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).
F. B. Meyer has well summarized the matter, “We must be careful to be properly dressed each day. If we lose our temper over trifles, or yield to uncharitable speech, it shows that we have omitted to put on the girdle of love; if we yield to pride, avarice, envy and jealousy, we must not simply endeavor to put off these evils but take from the wardrobe the opposite graces. It is not enough to avoid doing wrong. Our Master demands that we should always do and be what is right. When we fail in some sudden demand, it is because we have omitted to put on some trait of Christ, which was intended to be the complement of our need. Let us therefore day by day say: “Lord Jesus, wrap Thyself around me, that I may go forth, adequately attired to meet life’s demands.” In Christ for standing; Christ in us, for life; we with him, for safety.”
MAY THE MIND OF CHRIST, MY SAVIOR
May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By his love and pow’r controlling
All I do and say.
May the word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through his pow’r.
May the peace of God, my Father,
Rule my life in ev’rything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea.
Him exalting, self abasing:
This is victory.
May we run the race before us,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As we onward go.