Children often cast aside the rectangular–a.k.a. square–gifts without rattles or hums. They strew the contents on the floor, still hoping. Shoulders slump when they realize they were correct in their original assessment.
Their givers receive perfunctory gratitude for these obligatory necessities. Then, the kids tear into the next gifts, wishing for AA-battery requirements.
As an adult, I am more and more appreciative of clothing. I view pre-purchased garments as more than just gifts because they improve my every-day convenience. After all, I didn’t have to peruse the racks or the websites myself. My thanks is more personal and sincere. I might not even return the items for a different color. I will certainly avoid a size upgrade.
Certain brands just fit. I put them on, and they feel like second skin without being skin tight. Wearing that salt-and-pepper cardigan or those striped socks no one else sees, I leave my private world confident and enter the public arena dressed for any occasion.
Yet, standing in the closet of my life, I wonder how my Christian life can fit like a second skin without feeling skin tight. I check my makeup in the mirror, but I forget my attitude makes up part of the image I reflect. While wearing my many hats, I would like to be well-rounded and not a boring square.
Is it possible to achieve that AA-battery life and not feel rattled? Am I giving God perfunctory appreciation for obligatory necessities? Or am I truly grateful?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
How might a routine application of Colossians 3:12-17 prepare me for each daily encounter this coming year? Could it be a gift to last the whole year through …and beyond?