Be Still Know
Colossians 3:12a (NLT)
‘Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.’
When I first visited the USA in my role with the Evangelical Alliance and attended my first formal American Christian conference, I discovered the phrase on many lips was, ‘what’s the uniform’? Ahead of a formal dinner, management of an exhibition stand or invitation to sit on a platform, everyone was enquiring what they best wear to look appropriate yet not overdressed. That made me start to wonder what uniform God requires of us is?
I have paid little attention to dress over the years, although I do enjoy dressing up in distinctive clothing. On one occasion, when serving as International Director with the EA, I was headed for a meeting of our leadership team with that of the Council of Churches of Britain and Ireland. Located in a rural, retreat house, I assumed this to be informal and put on a relaxed, brightly coloured shirt with some shorts and sandals. On arrival my eyes observed that everyone was dressed in suits – in spite of the raging heat. It was too late to withdraw and that whole day none of the Council of Churches team would take my contribution seriously. Wrong uniform, no recognition!
To this day my colleagues believe I deliberately dressed this way as a statement instead of making a mistake.
St Paul writes about characteristics that make for an appropriate uniform for disciples of Jesus. We are invited to choose that clothing carefully for ourselves which speaks of our temperament, values and behaviours rather than the fabrics and styles of our outer casing. St Paul reminds us all that we retain responsibility for how we choose to dress. This is not something which we can sub contract to another as we did when children.
QUESTION: Do you find that you are able to ‘dress’ appropriately as a follower of Jesus?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you have clothed me in robes of righteousness now help me to wear the attitudes of your kingdom today.