Each summer my kids attend a week-long day camp at our church. It’s their favorite week of the year, especially because several house rules fly out the window such as; snoballs for breakfast, for example. If the camp wants to pump 500 kids with sugar at daybreak, that’s on them. I’m just going to roll my minivan on out of the parking lot with a smile, a wave and join my mom friends for tea or beignets. Apparently bathing goes out the window during the summer, too. Don’t judge me. My nine-year-old son came home from camp one day looking a little puffy. I pulled back his collar to see that he was wearing not one, not two, but three shirts. And yes, he was wearing that many shorts as well. It had never crossed my mind to teach my child to take off his clothes before putting more on. #commonsense (or so I thought).
Well, God was fully aware that we would need that little, detailed instruction when it came to our sins.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry, but now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. (Colossians 3:5-8, NIV)
Peeling away layers of our old, sinful ways can be tricky. We tend to hold tight to them. They are as comfy as an old pair of jeans. Reflex. Instinct. However, these things must be removed before we are able to adorn ourselves with the holy attributes of Jesus Himself.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
DAILY WE REMOVE, AND DAILY WE ADORN.
We have to take off before we can put on. Have you ever tried to smother anger with kindness? It's exhausting! You can't cover it up. What about covering up rage with gentleness? I think of how I react to my children sometimes when they, oh, I don't know, flood the bathroom with water for the umpteenth time. When I try to cover my anger and rage with kindness and gentleness, they get a crazy-eyed mama who speaks through gritted teeth. One time my son even asked me, "Why do you smile when you're mad?" Because, dear, Mama forgot to peel off her anger before I attempted to cover it with kindness. These kids see right through us!
We are a work in progress, friends. Daily, and sometimes moment by moment, we pray our way through these nasty, old habits. As we sink our noses into the spine of God's Word, our hearts align with His, our minds discover clarity and wisdom, and our spirits rejoice. Our tattered rags fall to the ground. They are replaced by an exquisite gown and fine jewelry. Remove—adorn. Put off—put on. Wax on—wax off. If we find ourselves attempting to pull gowns over our heads before removing the rags, then we have missed the most important step: seeking God.
Then, and only then, you have been raised with Christ. Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
Her book Her Children Arise and video series is available here: https://www.caseyhilty.com/shop