JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 11)
A few years ago, my adult daughter, Katie, enthusiastically introduced us to Marie Kondo, an organizing guru.
Marie taught a simple formula for decluttering a clothes closet (which I sorely need). I am to look at each garment and ask myself the question, “Does it bring me joy?” If the answer is “yes,” it stays. If the answer is “no” (or there is even a hint of hesitation), it must go.
In Colossians 3:12, Paul talks about replacing “clothing,” to: "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and beloved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”(NRSV).
After I read this it struck me that I need to ask myself, “Do the clothes in my spiritual clothes closetbring joy to others?”
In the closet of my old self are hanging well-worn garments of indifference, harshness, arrogance, pride, and restlessness. Paul is urging me to declutter that closet and replace those old garments with these:
- Compassion – How aware am I of those around me who are struggling or have some need. Do I care? Am I willing to do anything?
- Kindness – I would self-assess as a fairly-kindly guy, but am I reactive or proactive in my kindness to others? Is it freely given without being earned?
- Humility – Can I set aside my own ideas, conclusions, and convictions long enough to truly listen to and hear someone who is different from me? And possibly learn from them?
- Meekness – How often do I need to be in control? Am I willing to submit to others’ expertise and authority?
- Patience – Can I do a better job of slowing down and noticing the delights that God provides me? Can I curtail my exasperation with others long enough to understand the circumstances they are dealing with?
I have a lot of decluttering to do in my spiritual closet, for sure!
Imagine how you and I could impact our families, workplaces, church, and neighborhoods if we changed clothes. Our country can certainly use more “well-dressed” folks right now.
In discussing this with my wife, she was quick to offer that if I put on these new clothes, they will not only bring joy to others, they will also bring true, authentic joy to me, too.
I think she may be right. I should probably begin practicing with her.
What’s in your closet? Is there any decluttering needed?
Which of the five new garments Paul mentions do you most need God’s help with? Invite him to do so.
Try to build the habit of asking God every day to allow you to bring joy to someone who needs it. At the end of every day, reflect upon who you may have helped and share the gratitude and glory with God.
Abba/Father, Wow! Thank You for choosing me, for Your willingness to make me holy, for making me one of Your beloved children. Renew me. Grow the attributes of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience in my heart. Use me to bring your joy to others. To you be the glory! Amen.