How to Clothe Yourself II

As my exploration into humility began, let me remind you of what I first shared. The more common use for how we think of humility is Strong’s G5012 – tapeinophrosynē 1) the having a humble opinion of one’s self, 2) a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness, 3) modesty, humility, lowliness of mind. It is the use of humility in those verses that communicates not how we respond, but how we think of ourselves. This lowliness of mind is the opposite of pride. It is the example cited for us by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Likewise, Colossians 3:12-13 offers us a congruent yet extended admonition about how to follow Christ. Paul is consistent in Philippians and Colossians. Christ is the focus of our example of humility. In the post How to Clothe Yourself, I shared how God, through Paul, stated we should clothe ourselves with humility as a primary character attribute. I submitted that it was Christ’s humility that allowed Him to love us to the point of dying on the cross. Here in Colossians 3:12-13 the appeal is to us as God’s chosen or elect people. In essence, Paul is saying since God has chosen you to be included in the family of God, to receive salvation, the forgiveness of your sin, this is how you should develop your character, How to Clothe Yourself II.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

We see again the by-product of humility is forgiveness. Now, the focus is not on us receiving forgiveness but extending it. Here is the answer to all ills in relational trespasses. At every turn, I hear God saying How to Clothe Yourself II. God wants all of us, especially those who are God’s chosen people, make sure that we put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. What a line up of personal attributes we are asked to dress ourselves with.

LORD God, you know that these are right, but you also know that these are tough. As I dealt with a group of students yesterday, as I dealt with myself yesterday, the challenge for us all is How to Clothe Yourself II. I do know that when I chose to humble myself and forgive as the Lord forgave me that I was at peace. I experienced the beautiful and precious life you extended to man when you sent Jesus to die on the cross. I experienced a wee bit of Christ’s power and benefit as I forgave those whom I had developed a complaint or resentment towards for a wrong committed against me.

It is invitable that someone will wrong us. It is inevitable that we will wrong others especially God, but the expectation has been set. God tells us How to Clothe Yourself II. Humility leading to forgiveness is the expectation. Who will you forgive today as the Lord forgave you?


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