"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ... Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:12,14 (NASB)
Traveling sure can be hard on us girls! Trying to cram everything we'd like to bring into a space that's just a fraction of what we're used to. What a challenge!
Airline travel is especially hard. In the interest of saving money, I often choose carry-on luggage only. Which means there's only one small bag to hold everything I need.
Since space is limited, when I pack I have to take my time. I've got one shot to make the right decisions. One chance to be sure I have the perfect outfit for each scenario I'll find myself in. Dress or pants? New shoes or comfortable ones? Cute purse or functional?
How I can struggle with deciding something as simple as how I should dress!
Yet there are times when I don't just struggle with how to dress on the outside. I struggle with dressing my inside, too!
Like the decision between wearing my new shoes or the broken-in ones, my heart-choices easily gravitate toward what "feels" comfortable.
In a conversation with my husband, my mind naturally thinks of what I want to say rather than listening to the words he is speaking.
When dialogue with my kids becomes heated, I can slip into demanding respect, before I fully hear what they are trying to say. I'm sad to admit it, but caring about my own needs, my feelings, my desires and my agenda often comes first.
I want to change that.
Just like when I'm packing, I want to slow down, carefully choose the words I say, the attitudes I have and the actions I take. Each day, I've got one shot to make the right decision.
Today's key verse tells us the first step in making these right decisions is choosing the best "outfit" to put on our hearts each day: "... put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ... Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity" (Colossians 3:12b, 14).
I want love to be my "go-to" outfit, my first choice, my initial reaction. But getting to the place where love becomes completely natural can be a bit uncomfortable, like breaking in a new pair of shoes. However, by daily pushing past the messages of our me-first culture, love can become my favorite "go-to" choice. Instead of overreacting to situations that arise in my family, at work or in my friendships, I ask God to help me respond in love knowing I have the power of Jesus working through me.
No matter where I'm going or what I'm doing today, I can confidently put on love — exactly the choice I will be most beautiful in!
Dear Lord, as You know, loving others isn't always the easiest or most natural choice for me. Before I go any further today, help me to put on love, putting others needs and wants before my own. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: 1 John 4:19, "We love because he first loved us." (NIV)
Proverbs 31:25, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND: When was the last time you chose loving others over loving yourself?
Write today's key verse on a sticky note and put it on your closet as a reminder to put on love each day while you are getting dressed.
© 2014 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org