It’s not much of a problem deciding what to wear these days. Besides riding my bike (which won’t happen much now that it’s getting colder), I go to the grocery store once a week and that’s about it. I imagine at some point I’ll need to shake the dust off some of my hanging clothes and wear them again.
Maybe you’ve also enjoyed not worrying about what to wear during this strange year. Instead of thinking about the clothes in our closets, we might want to turn our thoughts to what the Bible says about our wardrobe. At least three verses talk about what to wear: Romans 13:14, Colossians 3:10 and 3:12. I like to read them in different versions of the Bible to get a feel for the full meaning. Romans 13:14 says to put on Jesus (ESV); clothe yourself with the presence of Jesus (NLT); fully immerse yourselves into the Lord Jesus (TPT). In Colossians we are told to put on the new self and to clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (NIV).
Even if you do spend some time in the morning figuring out what to wear, it’s a good opportunity to think about putting on Jesus with each article of clothing. We could even assign the characteristics in Colossians to our socks and shoes, praying for compassion as we put on the left sock, humility as we put on the right one, kindness with one shoe and gentleness with the other. We can pray for patience as we put on a shirt. As we get into a jacket, think about putting on love over all, “which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14, NIV).
Instead of fussing over what to wear, we can turn that time into a time of prayer and let the Holy Spirit choose how to clothe us. I’m sure he more style than me anyway.
For months, a Hillsong praise song about Jesus has been stuck in my head. It’s the one with the words “Jesus, lover of my soul. Jesus, I will never let you go.” It just bubbles up, especially when I’m out riding my bike. Lately I’ve been changing the words to say, Jesus, you’ll never let me go. I know I want to hold on to him, but I know he wants to hold on to me even more, and his “hands” don’t get sweaty and lose their grip.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can separate us from God’s love – absolutely nothing. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV).
Nothing can separate us from his love, and nothing is more encouraging than knowing the bond between Jesus and us is unbreakable. “Though my world may fall,” neither of us will ever let go. The Father loved us first, Jesus loves us and the Holy Spirit loves us – and I will sing it forever.
When something unpleasant happened, if you asked my dad how bad it was, he’d say, “Bad, but not too bad.” This became almost a motto for us over the years. I still say it and he’s been gone for over seventeen years. We tell ourselves nothing in life is so bad that it couldn’t be worse, but that doesn’t really help, does it? Saying a problem or trial is “bad, but not too bad” can bring a smile to my face, no matter what it is.
Paul might have been the first one to have an attitude of bad, but not too bad when he endured so many terrible hardships – shipwrecks, beatings, going hungry, imprisonment (2 Corinthians 11). He went a step further when he realized that in all these horrible circumstances, God’s grace was all he needed. Everything he went through, including his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12) was survivable because of grace. He even learned to “delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties” (verse 10). He discovered when he was weak, he was strong in Christ.
The whole world is enduring hardship this year and even though it’s worse than other years, every year brings its share of trials, problems and heartache. With Christ in us, we can face these trials head on and say, it’s bad, but not too bad. With God’s grace, in our weakness, we can be strong. Like Paul, we can boast about our weaknesses so the power of Christ can work through us and shine brightly in the darkness.
It’s been nine months since I was given my word for 2020, unfazed, and I thought it might be a good time to let you know how I’m doing. I must admit, unfazed hasn’t always described me so far. I’ve had some days where I let events and situations faze me a lot, and to be fair, this has been a tough year all around. But having a word doesn’t mean you automatically attain some kind of perfection.
As I pondered my goal of being unfazed, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear that the way to let my word play out for the next few months and beyond is to have a perpetual posture of praise and worship. As the quotation I posted a few weeks ago stated, this can be under the surface of everything we do, all the time.
When I was growing up, my dad would often tell me to stand up straight. I don’t have naturally good posture, so I needed reminders to keep my shoulders back. I was thinking about the word posture and how it has more than one meaning. It is also aspect, attitude, demeanor, disposition or mode. All these words can describe how to live in a praise and worship state of being.
Having good spiritual posture is even more important than physical posture. Now when I think about standing straighter, I won’t just think about my shoulders, but I’ll be praising and worshiping God, singing and making melody in my heart (Colossians 3:16). Maybe with this posture, I can remain unfazed for the next three months and go on to learn to let the love of Jesus keep me unfazed and resting in his peace the rest of my life.