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Summary: July 19, 09 The virtues we must "put on" as Christians.

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Jesus and Toxic People July 19, 2009

Wardrobe for living with people

Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT)

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Fashion is huge these days – probably sells as much magazines as it does clothes – do we go through a day without thinking about what we are wearing, ort what others are wearing? It is appropriate to the situation? Does it make be look fat? Do I look good?

We in the west pay so much attention to what we wear on our bodies. It is a good thing that St. Paul gave some thought to how we clothe our souls.

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This is the last in the series that we’ve called “Jesus and Toxic People.”

I want to remind you that we can seldom change the toxic people around us. Some times God uses us to change people, but it is usually easier to change ourselves!

Paul writes about the fashion of our soul, not just for dealing with toxic people, but for everyone we are around – especially those in the church.

You may have heard about the armor of God found in Ephesians 6

The belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

– I’ve known people who have imagined themselves putting on the armor of God every morning as they started their day. I think that that is pushing the metaphor a bit too far. But I do think, that just as we give thought to the clothes we wear each morning, we should give more thought to how we clothe our soul throughout the day.

Ancient Celtic prayer: Clothe our souls with grace while clothing our bodies with raiment

Put on Tenderhearted mercy

Compassion – a deep sensitivity to the needs and sorrows of others – N.T. Wright

– make it you purpose to know what the other needs and how the other hurts – not as ammunition, but in order to protect them – guard their heart

Put on Kindness – “the art of being a dear” – Lord Hailsham

“God is the kindest person I know” – Graham Cooke

What did the pastor teach today? “That we should be kind.” I don’t want this to be so trite – it is much deeper than that – we are to be kind to the people who will never be kind back, we are to be kind to people who could never be kind back.

Luke 6

32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Put on Humility – not thinking to highly of yourself, nor thinking to lowly

THE DISEASE OF PRIDE “Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the one who has it” SOURCE: “Our Daily Bread,” December, 1986.

Ed Silvoso – Pride is like bad breath – everyone knows you have it except you.

Often it is easy to lose our humility when we feel we have been wronged. We might say “I might not be great, but I’m not that bad!” and we set ourselves up as judge over the one who has offended us. We must keep our humilty from sliping off during the rough days.

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