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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:12-13
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless”
I am the mother of two teenage daughters. Well, I am also the mother of four other grown-up children, two sons and two daughters, but at this stage of my life, my day-to-day encounters are primarily focused on the comings and goings of my two daughters at home. Teenagers can be a lot of work, especially if you have a “high maintenance” kiddo. Not that either of my girls is particularly “high maintenance,” but I will admit that they are “high” enough for this mama to get worn out on occasion.
Teenage daughters require a fair amount of cultural and social awareness, so I can’t just retreat into my old-fashioned, traditional world where things feel a bit more “ordinary” or actually “boring.” Let’s just say, I’m quite content with “ordinary” and “boring.” But these days I’m finding that getting dressed every day can be an exercise in trying to keep up with what’s fashionable and what’s apparently so “yesterday.” Or whatever it’s called these days.
So when I discover that jeans with shredded and destroyed holes in them are the latest fashion trend, I have to ask myself, “Who thought THAT was a good idea?” But if my kiddos love the Lord, and they are diligent students, and they are kind to others, responsible and hardworking, respectful and generous, I guess I really don’t care if their jeans look like they came out of my grandma’s rag bag. If they are clean and modest, I’m good with that.
But that made me think about what I wear every day. Well, my girls would suggest that I really need to buy some new things (but really . . . there’s not much money left over for mama’s clothes when those shredded jeans are so unbelievably expensive – which is a good thing that Fashion Diva daughter has a job and can buy most of her own stuff, but still – kids are expensive!).
The bigger idea as I was thinking about what I’m wearing every day, aside from the reality that yes, I probably really do need some new clothes, is what I am wearing in my spirit. These days it can be challenging to be patient, gentle, compassionate, and express a spirit of humility and kindness because of the rising current of division in our country.
No matter the cause, as we all have our own notions of where this divisiveness originated, I have decided that I need to “clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
So when I find myself being criticized, scolded, and lectured because my opinion might be different from someone else, I try to remember that a garment of kindness can bring a sense of peace, civility, security, and love. It’s amazing what those new clothes can do for each one of us!