As I had just experienced two particularly stressful weeks, culminating in a not-so-comfortable day at work, today's Scripture Reading and devotion in ourdailybread.org was particularly encouraging this morning! As I read the author's admonition that being clothed in "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience...forgiving as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:12-13), is "the clothing that enables us to make a positive difference"...and "equips the wearer" when we "face adverse conditions at home, school, or work", is it any wonder my sleepy eyes widened, my heart soaked it in, and my mind relaxed into the certain knowledge that God was speaking directly to me in my darkened livingroom - even at 3 in the morning.
When God, through His eternally "alive and active" Word, reaches through the feelings we experience of injustice, anger, bitterness, and malice, and tells us to replace evil speaking and gossip with a new set of attitudes that clothe us in Love and all it's finery: compassion, kindness, humility, and patience, it's not so we become doormats or shrinking violets that never address things that need strong action. We do still need to "fight the good fight" and "run our race with perseverance" (2 Timothy 4:7). But we need to understand that in those battles, that we fight against principalities and powers of darkness, (Ephesians 6:12) people around us (even people that rub us the wrong way and take their pain out on those around them), are HUNGRY to see others who are not dealing out eye-for-an-eye "justice" but Grace. Change your wardrobe. Follow Jesus in "putting away from you anger,..." and "put on...compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience...and above all... put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity" That kind of clothing points the way to God's Grace and enables us to live well-dressed, not stressed. :-)