It has been said that if you can teach a concept to a child you can teach it to anyone. And oftentimes as you teach a child you learn a ton yourself. Both of those things were very true for me a couple weeks back. Let me explain…
During the entire month of March our Vineyard Kids program was learning about one part of the fruit of the Spirit: PATIENCE. To help kids remember what they learned on Sunday, there are 4 devotionals that parents are encouraged to do with their kids throughout the week. Each devotional has a Scripture to read and a few paragraphs to discuss (By the way, we use the Orange curriculum).
So it was 7:30pm at night. Kellie, the kids, and I were doing our “Jesus time” right before bed. On that particular night our Scripture Focus was Colossians 3:12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I read that verse and began to explain to Faith, Evelyn, and Elizabeth what it meant. And as I began to explain it I realized this family devotional was for me as much as it was for them. Here is a summary of what I said…
What is one of the things you do every morning? You get dressed, right? You head over to your closet or your dresser, pick out the clothes you feel like wearing that day, and put them on.
From that point forward every person you encounter that day can see what you are wearing. You don’t need to tell them, “Today I have on a long-sleeved blue and white striped shirt, a pair of jeans, and my brown Skechers.” You don’t need to tell them… they can see it for themselves.
What about your faith?
Do you need to tell people you are a Christian, or can they see it for themselves? Is it obvious by how you act, by what you say, and by what you think that you are a follower of Jesus?
The Apostle Paul is telling Christians that each morning when we wake up, in addition to putting on a shirt and pair of pants we need to put on another set of “clothes.” Clothes not found in closets and dressers but clothes found in the heart of God.
We ought to clothe ourselves with character traits that reveal a good God to a hurting and broken world. Traits like compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Here’s a question… whether it’s your friends, your children, your parents, or your spouse — if you asked those who know you the best what “clothes” you tend to wear, what would they say?
Do you tend to wear compassion… or indifference?
Do you wear kindness… or hatred?
Do you wear humility… or pride?
Do you wear gentleness… or harshness?
Do you wear patience… or impatience?
Think about it.
And here’s the key… Just like we have the power to choose which shirt, shoes, socks, and pair of pants we can put on each morning, as followers of Jesus who are no longer slaves to sin, we have the power to choose which character traits we decide to clothe ourselves with. Not just first thing in the morning, but all day long, with every person we meet.
May we dress appropriately.
***Please join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church as we launch an all-new post-Easter series. April 12. 10:30am. More info at tevchurch.org***