When was the last time you took a good look at the clothes in your closet?  If you’re anything like me, you’ve got some favourites, some not so favourites, some things that require some attention (a hem, or a button), some things are too big or too small and some things that haven’t been worn in ages.  Every so often, I look through my closet to reevaluate what is taking up space.  I choose to keep some things, pass other things along and add new items into the mix.

For a while now I’ve been thinking about the clothes in my “spiritual closet”, the character of my heart.  The Bible is filled with verses that tell us how to dress, how to “clothe ourselves” and I’ve been looking at ways to add these “clothes” (characteristics, attitudes, actions and thoughts) into my life.

Consider the words that Paul writes in Colossians 3:12-14  Since God chose you to be holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love.

Tenderhearted mercy. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness. Patience. And most important: Love.

When I look at these pieces of clothing in my  life I can say that are times when these clothes fit really well, they are comfortable staples in my wardrobe. I wear them all the time.  But if I take a hard honest look, there are times when these clothes are hidden in the back of my closet, the back of my heart and mind. They are too tight, too big or require too much work and they get tucked away in favour of other things.

In Colossians 3:3-11, Paul tells us “to put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry.  God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behaviour, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.  In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. In this new life… Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

So what’s in your closet? Take a minute with me to look at the list above and compare that to your “spiritual closet”.

What clothes do you need to throw away? Lying? Anger? Sexual sin? Dirty language?

What clothes do you need to wear more often? Love? Tenderhearted mercy? Patience?

I don’t know about you, but I know that there is some Spring Cleaning to be done in my own life. At the end of the chapter, Paul gives us some practical help on how we can make these changes.

Colossians 3:15-17

  • And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.
  • Always be thankful
  • Let the words of Christ live in your hearts and make you wise
  • Use his words to teach and counsel each other
  • Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts
  • Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father

So who’s with me? Are you ready to take a look at your attitudes, desires and behavours in your spiritual closet and make an honest examination of what is there? As we sort through the closets of our hearts and minds I know that we will find some clothes that fit us well, love, peace, humility perhaps. Wear them even more than you do now.  I also know that we will find things that we need to get rid of, rip to shreds and throw out to the trash.  By doing this, remember, that we are each making more room in our closets/hearts for those attitudes, behaviours, thoughts and actions that God wants for us. Are you ready to throw the poorly fitted clothes away? Are you willing to exchange them for a new wardrobe of kindness, humility, tenderhearted mercy, gentleness, patience and love?

With love, Heather