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.

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