By Toni Smothers
Colossians 3:12-14 tells us about some pretty gorgeous attire. “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Did you notice that phrase, “over all?” (Not to be confused with “overalls” – that’s an entirely different look!) Well, Christian comedy aside, God instructs us all to put on love. It’s not something we fall into, like a free-fall off a cliff into the ocean. And love doesn’t fall on us, like a bucket of cold water over the head. Putting on love is a deliberate decision. It’s like choosing what to wear and then dressing for the day.
There are personal things to remember when getting ready. Things that you’d rather others not see. You know, unmentionables, like underwear or deodorant. (Gosh, I can’t believe I just mentioned those!) But, and this is the super-neat part, the child of God gets to put on “God’s love” and wear it so that His love is the very first thing that others see when they look at you. Understand, your figure or fashion sense is so insignificant compared to your obvious happiness. Your sparkle, laughter and smiles are the features that attract others.
Knowing all this intellectually, and ignoring the God sparkles for now; I have been known to stand almost comatose like a kid in a cocoon, carefully contemplating the contents of my closet. Besides being an outrageously contrived tongue-twister, this contemplation is not always a happy task for me. I bet you’ve already guessed that my clothes are a bit snug lately, so it often takes longer than I’d like to find an outfit that comes even remotely close to fitting my “current version.” No matter how long I moon over them, those too small clothes do not magically transform into larger ones. Just knowing that makes me respond with a little discontent. On some level of thought, (albeit irrational), my peevishness makes perfect sense to me.
I know, it sounds pretty weird, but since I’m the worst pack-rat in existence, it seems like there should be some value in those irritating garments that mock me. After all, some of those tiny clothes are authentic antiques. Funny thing is, many of them are back in style again. Yeah, well, a lot of good it does me. I can’t get my big toe into most of them. (Twisting and contorting is quite the unsightly sight, if you know what I mean.)
All right, I admit it, there’s no rational explanation I can offer for hanging on to those old clothes. It’s probably got to do with fond memories, (or delusions), of a perfect “Barbie-doll” body. Not to worry, though: Pride has a way of simmering down when thrown into the refiner’s fire. God’s not especially into our clothes, but He does want to supernaturally transform us through faith in Jesus. We can evolve, incrementally, into more loving people who shine with the joyful assurance that God grants whoever would earnestly seek him.
Whoever you are, whatever shape you are currently in, you can still rely on His perfect love every time. You see, when it’s from God, there are no physical qualifications or strings attached. He gives freely to all His children. And, (drum roll), His love even comes in an expandable fit!
Yeah, come to think of it, His garment of salvation grows right along with me. Christ’s unmatchable act of sacrifice wraps around me no matter what, so that even in my swollen state, (head included), He’s got me covered. It’s a most luxurious fit. But the absolutely incredible part is that my Savior calls me His own “beautiful bride!” You gotta love it!
In Isaiah 61:10, the bible tells us what the well-dressed child of God is sporting these days: “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.” I know one thing, I’ve never had to squirm and fight my way into God’s garments. (You know, I’ve always suspected that spandex is not of God!)
Anyway, my garments of salvation and my robe of righteousness came straight from God, through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus’ robe I get to wear. I must say, I feel like a real winner in it.
Love is the ultimate accessory. It just kind of pulls it all together. Christ’s robe to cover me, God’s great love within me and His Holy Spirit to fill me, these garments surpass anything I could ever come up with. (And it certainly beats the skinny, “Twiggy” look.)
With or without the thunder thighs, try Jesus on for size. We’re talking one really great fit!