A Mind Stove and Expensive Pictures
9/17/2017 11:55:37 PM
What makes a picture worth a thousand words?
A mind stove and expensive pictures.
A picture is worth a thousand words, it’s been said.1 What makes for its said ‘worth’? ‘Think it is true? If so, why? Enables to visualize. Recall. Remember. A compelling visual or well-chosen picture calls something forth in us.
Several years ago, I stopped by to see my friend Jen, and we were talking about how hard it can be to consistently ‘walk the walk’. Too many people say one thing, but live different, right? (I guess we’ve all been guilty of that at times) At the time, I was teaching through Paul’s letter to the Colossians2, and as always, when I am writing and studying—mulling things around in my mind--those thoughts are always somewhat present to me, sorta like a simmering pan on a side burner of my ‘mindstove’, so to speak.
What was Paul writing to the Colossians? Take a look: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another
if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.3
What if we really could ‘clothe’ ourselves with these attributes? It would sorta be like putting on a Jesus shirt.
In fact, it was to the Romans Paul later wrote, Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.4
But if we could put on a Jesus shirt—well, that would remind us who we are, and whose we are. And so I got Danny’s last high school formal dress shirt and brought it to life: Compassion down one long sleeve, kindness down the other; humility neatly written down the button holes, gentleness laterally across the entire front of the shirt, and patience across the upper back. [hmmm, I think I’m on to something]
What screams off the page to me today is this: Clothe yourselves with h u m i l i t y, Paul said. Humility—right thinking about one’s self in relation to God and others—is fundamental in our relationships with people. In Proverbs 22, it says Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. True humility comes from a place of strength and inner security.
Here’s what I’ve noticed: genuinely humble people who have a desire to seek the well-being of others are generally very secure people--fully aware of their gifts, training, experience and all of the attributes that make them successful. Honest, healthy self-assessment results in more than healthy self-assessment; it results in more than a humble constitution; it translates into actions that can be observed, actions that others will want to emulate.5 So humility is attractive . . . and contagious?
Note: the common dictionary definition says pride is: a sense of one's own proper dignity or value; self-respect. Where do we get proper dignity? It is the realization we are nothing, and we have nothing, but by the grace of our Creator. Did you choose your height? Did you choose your family of origin or place of birth, realizing most of us were born in freedom? 'O, no you di’nt, child!'
So, what do you say we endeavor to clothe ourselves with humility? I submit to you that out of humility, we will more naturally flow in compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience.
A prayer: God, I fall so woefully short in clothing myself in these qualities so highly esteemed by you. Would you inform my mind and quicken my heart to think rightly of myself, to offer compassion, walk in kindness, express gentleness, and practice patience with others? Help me to see what you see and respond in love. In Jesus’ name and in love, Amen.
Friends, don the Jesus’ shirt today!
1 – Seems to have originated in 1911.
2 – http://pastorwoman.com/ReadArchive.aspx?id=1110
3 - Colossians 3.12-14
4 - Romans 13.14
5 – Chuck Swindoll, So, You Want t o Be Like Christ?