As part of decluttering and simplifying my life, I’ve given away a lot of clothes, so many that I had empty drawers in my dresser and now have a lot of breathing room in my closet. Having less makes it easier to find something to wear, but I still have trouble deciding. I wish I had it as easy as my husband, who wears black polo shirts most of the time. Maybe I should try that.
Regardless of what’s in my closet, I always know what to wear on the inside. Romans 13:14, in almost every translation available, says to put on Jesus. Paul expands this in Colossians 3:12 and 14 when he writes to the church there to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, and over all of these, to put on love (NIV). Love is “your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it” (MSG).
It would be nice if this were as easy as grabbing compassion out of a dresser drawer, pulling kindness from a shelf or taking patience off a hanger and then just putting all of them on. Ultimately, God is the one who dresses us in these attributes, but he doesn’t dress us the way we would dress a toddler. I’m pretty sure he expects us to cooperate with the Spirit by practicing the spiritual disciplines. We need to go to the closet (Bible study), open the drawers of the dresser (pray), search the shelves (meditate on God’s word) and then hold out our arms to let him dress us with his gifts.