God wants us to dress for success.He has a desire for us to clothe ourselves in such a way that we achieve success in what He considers to be important.
As Paul was writing his letter to the church at Colosse, he used the illustration of getting dressed to help us understand how we can dress ourselves in such a way that we can be successful - God’s way. God’s view of success is often much different than ours. In Galatians 5:14 we read "For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Success in God’s eyes can be summed up by loving others! Simple, profound and sometimes incredibly hard! Loving our neighbor is not always easy. (Your neighbor is anyone that is not you!)
In Colossians 3:14 Paul said “And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.” We are to clothe ourselves with love! What does that look like? Well, if we back up to verse 12 we find five articles of clothing that Paul tells us we are to clothe ourselves with: Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
These five pieces of clothing all help us to put on love and each of them help us to fulfill the command of Jesus to love our neighbor. Today I want us to consider the first one - a “heart of compassion”. We are to clothe ourselves with compassion. Having compassion means that we have “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”.
We are to wear compassion because God is a God of compassion!
Jesus modeled compassion for us when He lived on earth. I am always amazed at the compassion of Jesus! The gospels are full of accounts of the compassion of Jesus. He had compassion on the crowds, compassion for the hurting, compassion for the sick, compassion for the lost. Jesus had compassion for people. He empathized with their weaknesses and pain. He took time to notice the hurting people around him. He met their needs. Jesus reflected the heart of the Father in showing compassion.
If you are a follower of Christ you have been called to reflect a heart of compassion to the people in your world - your neighbors. Who are your neighbors? Your spouse, your children, your church family, the people that live on your street, the person you pass in Walmart, each are your neighbor. Do you have a heart of compassion? You can’t be successful in God’s eyes without being compassionate to the people you encounter in life.
You have a compassionate Father in Heaven! He saw you with eyes of compassion and met your greatest need when He gave His Son up for you. Jesus has compassion for you - He cares about your hurt and pain. He wants us to do the same for others!
Clothe yourself with compassion today. Slow down and take time to actually see people. Be on the lookout for someone who is hurting and show compassion to them. You will be reflecting the heart of your Father and the love of Jesus! It will make a difference in their life and you will on the path to truly finding success in life!