The AMI Spiritual Food for Thought for the weekend of January 12-13 is provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends and serves at Remnant Church in Manhattan.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“What Are You Wearing Today?”
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Winter in New York City is quite cold, and to my parents who live in Georgia, the thought of it is unbearable. Occasionally, they’ll worry: “Are you wearing a scarf? Do you have gloves? How many hats do you own again?” Although by this point, I feel fairly confident in my own ability to dress myself, their reminders are warranted. It’s important for me to check the weather each day and run through my schedule to determine what to wear. Other considerations come to mind: Am I seeing friends? Am I going to be doing a lot of walking? I need to be sure to have an outfit conducive to these plans. I’m sure this is common for each person. Whether you care much or little about your actual appearance, there’s sure to be some passing thought on the function of your clothing when you get dressed for the day.
In speaking about who we are as new creations in Christ, Paul likens character traits to clothing. He suggests that these, in the Spirit, can be easily put on: we are to be people who visibly display virtues of God. If we take this analogy a little further, we can be reminded that—similar to how we shop for and keep clothes—these qualities also take proper care to maintain, and we need to spend time identifying and acquiring them.
And we choose what to wear not solely based on how it makes us look but also for functionality. Just as outer garments and footwear shield us, their spiritual equivalents that shield us spiritually are meant to be appropriately applied to all situations and circumstances in our lives. As Christians, we know that this world is not only full of spiritual battles but opportunities for our old, sinful selves to rear their ugly heads. Therefore, we need the Spirit to keep us from indulging in the temptations to be selfish, greedy, and unloving.
Because putting on virtues sounds nice as a general practice, my encouragement for you today (and the next several days) is to specifically anticipate how to clothe yourself before you leave your home. If you’ve planned a tough conversation with a difficult coworker, can you remind yourself to layer on an extra measure of compassion? If you anticipate heavy traffic when you drive, you might want to bring along some extra patience, just in case. Let’s ask God to help us prepare for the day ahead… and also to not forget what we have resolved to carry!
Prayer: Father, I confess that I often am more concerned with what I look like on the outside than what I look like on the inside. Please fix my sight and attention on the treasure of inward character; remind me and help me intentionally clothe myself with spiritual fruits above all. Make me someone who carries the aroma of Christ wherever I go and to radiates Your presence and character.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 13-14