I am sure you have noticed how followers of some religions wear specific items that make them easily recognizable. For example, Jewish men top their heads with yamakas; Muslim women cover themselves with the hijab; those who study Kabbalah tie a thin red string around their wrist. But Christians don’t wear any outer coverings that would immediately identify them as God’s children. So how is the world to recognize you as a follower of Christ?
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with
tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
How can you put on a list of inanimate objects? By being so immersed in God’s love that it radiates from you no matter where you go. Perfect strangers should be able to see a difference in you that sets you apart from the rest of the world. Chances are if you are walking around with a scowl on your face like the world has done you some terrible injustice, no one is going to recognize the Spirit living in you.
Jesus himself gave us countless examples of how we can show the world mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Mercy was shown to the tax collector in Luke 18 when he admitted his shortcomings as opposed to the arrogant boastings of the Pharisee. He humbled himself in Jesus’ presence, “God have mercy on me, a sinner” (vs. 13), and was shown favor as a result.
Kindness was given to the children who flocked to his feet, “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)
An act of humility was displayed when Jesus stood before John the Baptist, seeking his services. John argued “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?” (Matt 3:14) Jesus simply replied that it must be so and the son of God was baptized by a mere mortal.
Gentleness is heard in the words spoken to the frightened woman whom Jesus healed, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:34)
Jesus practiced patience on a regular basis with his disciples. They questioned his methods and doubted the revelation of his death time and time again. Yet Jesus continued to teach them and guide them with love and understanding.
The Bible gives no account of Jesus wearing anything that marked his divinity. It was by his actions and the words he spoke that people were drawn to him and came to know the Father. And so it should be with our treatment of others today. Our attitudes and actions should be reflective of the life of Jesus so that in the absence of defining garments, the world will know the God that we serve.
“Above all else, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony”