I always like to give folks the benefit of the doubt, but some consistently choose to wear the wrong things. In today's society there is so much emphasis put on what to wear and how to wear it. How to look beautiful and how to look young. I see so many striving for this glorious external appearance while in the meantime their insides need a complete overhaul. Some have such a spiritual stench that it is hard to be in the same room with them. They can talk circles around me when it comes to their fifty degrees from every fine institution known to man- but they intend to talk just to hear themselves speak, never connecting with their listener, missing the opportunity to hear the desires and needs of another, and they are really too filled with pride and arrogance to be much of a friend to anyone.
It is in these difficult moments that I am gently reminded to check my own clothing. What am I wearing today? Did I put on my love coat? Did I remember my hip humility jeans or my fancy forgiveness wrap dress? More often than not I need to do a better job of getting dressed in the mornings. I need to do a better job of loving the unlovely- of overlooking the unmet needs and unhealed hurts of others- when Jesus is the only one who can heal them from the inside out. A deeper level of compassion, mercy and grace with the friend who has declined lunch with me only to call back later and say that she will see me at the restaurant because she ended up being invited by someone else. The friends who cancel coming for dinner yet again, after I have cleaned, cooked and prepared myself, my home and my large family for their arrival. The friend who just never shows up or calls because she got a better offer. A well planned outfit for those who invite me to an event and then when I get there act like I am invisible. A better outfit for those who only call because they want something. Tomorrow I will wear patience and wisdom so that I am prepared for the friend who continues to make hurtful comments about my family or the fact that we are "having another baby"- and for the other friend who makes negative comments about my weight, my pregnancy, my home, my family and so on. I will choose self-control when I am laughed at and made fun of by friends -when I confide in them that I am writing several books and have hopes of getting published. I will wear forgiveness the day after that, so that bitterness and resentment will not become my "this years must haves" when another celebration or momentous occasion goes by, and there is no family anywhere to be found. I refuse to believe that bitter is "the new black" when our family goes through yet another setback, another disappointment or another tragedy and there isn't so much as a morsel of support other than "it will be alright". I will overlook the selfish comments, the harsh words, the rejection that can send one reeling, the stinging criticism and hurtful gossip and tomorrow morning when it is time to get dressed again~I will pass over the hangers filled with my old choices and worldly options and pull out my well worn Galatians 5:22's. If you don't have them- you have got to get them. Timeless and classic. This year and next years must have. It is a perfect fit every time. One size fits all. Created by the greatest designer ever known........
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control."- Galatians 5:22