“You are NOT leaving this house like that!”
Did your mom or dad ever say that to you? Do you say that to your child? As a parent, I try to let my kids dress themselves. I am not concerned if my daughter wants to wear a pink sequined shirt and bright yellow pants with a sparkling purple headband. I dressed odd as a child and I turned out just fine. (well…sort of) The main thing that I am concerned about is that they are modest, dressed appropriate for the weather, and comfortable. That was my parent’s approach as well. We were taught modesty. I know what needs to be covered, what would make people lust, what is what God would want me to wear. Those are the things I teach my kids. Especially my daughter.
When we get dressed for the day, we make a conscience decision to put on our clothing. We decide what is appropriate for the occation. We decide what makes us feel good. Once the decision is made, we really don’t have to think about it again. It is a 5 minute (ok… maybe 15 minute) decision. Then we move on and do it again the following day.
That is not the case with our attitude and character. Sometimes my attitude changes a dozen times in a day. Sometimes I am my attitude is not very pretty. I wish I could clothe myself is compassion, love, peace, and kindness each morning and it would stay all day.
I discovered ‘The Fitting Room: Putting On The Character of Christ’ by Kelly Minter. This book explores God’s HOLY fitting room. She discusses how you should clothe yourself each day. It is not about the outward clothing, but the inward. You should clothe yourself with the virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Kelly based this book on the scriptures Colossians 3: 12-15
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Kelly is honest about her struggle to exhibit the virtues of Christ in her daily life. I can relate to her so well. She shares the details of her fight to treat others the way that God has treated her. In her easy to read, short chapters, she does not dive into the scripture and talk about the idea of clothing yourself as God would like. Instead, she puts the scriptures and ideas into real life action. Her down to earth writing makes me feel like I am sitting down with a girlfriend, discussing this everyday struggle.
Much like me, Kelly knows the scripture very well, and yet doesn’t know it. Confusing right? Well, I completely understand growing up in the church and knowing all the details, the big words, the right things to do, justification, salvation. And yet, sometimes we are so wrapped up in the details, we forget the real life application. She says “…but my hope is that we may grasp it in its most distilled form. Otherwise we may find ourselves knowing much about it but not believing it for real life…”(page 43) We need to make it simple. Strip it back to the basics. CLOTHE ourselves compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forgiveness, love, peacefulness because we are LOVED. We are loved and want to clothe ourselves in the virtues of Christ. It is what he wants for us. It is what we were called to do.
So, each day as we battle through what to wear each morning, what shoes go with the outfit, let’s also make a conscience decision to clothe ourselves in the virtures that Paul shared with us. Remind yourself over and over when you fall away. These are the things that mater. In the end, people will not remember the clothes you were wearing, but they WILL remember how you treated them and how you were clothed in the virtues of Christ!
I am so excited to join these fabulous bloggers to bring you a giveaway! We are giving away 4 copies of Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter. Be sure to read the reviews on these sites too.