Links Daily Devotional

All Dressed Up

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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14, NIV)

I grew up on a small, nine-hole public golf course in northern Idaho. I enjoyed many evenings walking out the back door and playing a four-hole loop. The best part is I could wear jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes. I loved the casualness and sense of comfort of these summer nights.

As I began to compete in tournaments, I had to change my attire. There was a dress code as a junior, collegiate, and professional golfer. The typical outfit was a collared shirt, tailored shorts, and golf shoes. Over the years, the styles have changed, but there is still an expectation to put on “golf” attire when we tee it up.

We also have different choices of clothing in our spiritual lives. Before we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, our natural tendency (old self) is to conform to the world’s standards because it’s more comfortable. We may exhibit some positive qualities like honesty, integrity, and respect for others, but the clothes we often put on are selfishness, shame, guilt, anger, pride, fear, frustration, or worry.

When the eyes of our hearts are opened to the saving grace of Jesus, we begin to experience what Paul shares, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Paul adds in his letter to the Colossians that we are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…to bear with each other, to forgive…and most of all to put on love.

Unlike the golf attire that we buy, Jesus purchased the clothes Paul asks us to put on when he hung on the cross. All we have to do is receive the clothing and choose to wear it daily.

My old nature has been buried with Jesus, but I still look for it at times because it was comfortable and enabled me to blend into the world—like my jeans and t-shirt. As a child of God, however, I have been given a new nature and if I keep trying to put on the old clothes, I will miss out on many of the blessings God has for me as well as forfeiting the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

I’m still a great fan of public golf and appreciate those casual summer nights as a kid, but today I no longer play in my jeans and t-shirt. Instead, I am practicing putting on the new clothes God has given me.

Tracy Hanson

July 25, 2011

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.