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April 4, 2016

Beauty Begins: God's Wardrobe

by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG)

So, what does God’s wardrobe look like?  When it comes to looking truly beautiful each day, God has already selected the perfect outfits to bring out our inner beauty.  So, let’s take a better look at our priceless wardrobe this week, piece by piece.

Colossians tells us that the first piece we’re to put on every day is compassion.  Jesus wore the clothes of compassion when He walked this earth, as He always looked past the outward appearance of people and saw their inner needs.  We’re more like Jesus when we get our eyes off ourselves and focus on the person in front of us. Our natural default thinking pattern runs something like this:  Here I am!  How do I look?  How do I feel? What are you thinking about me? But true beauty thinks, There you are!  What are your needs? How can I meet them? 

Jesus was clothed with compassion because He always saw into the hearts of hurting people.  Mark records one example in his gospel narrative:

“When (Jesus) went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  And He began to teach them many things.”  (6:34 ESV) 

Mark says, “Jesus saw…”  He saw what was really going on in the lives of the people around Him.  Likewise, we put on compassion when we take time to truly see people.  When we look closely, we’ll discover something about each person we encounter: everyone has hidden hurts. We may feel as if we’re the only people with scars to hide and struggles to bear, but the truth is just the opposite.  When you’re hurting, try to remember that someone nearby is hurting too.  I’ve found that I have to be really intentional about this. When I’m especially down or focused inward, I mentally make myself step into someone else’s shoes, someone who is going through a rough time.  It’s only when I put on the garment of compassion that I am able to see the deeper needs of those around me.  If you want to be truly beautiful, put on Christ’s clothes of compassion today, and others will see His reflection in you.

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