Series: The Word
Colossians 3:12 ESV
I spent the first two thirds of my life trying really really hard to do everything scripture says.
I thought it was my responsibility.
I thought somehow I had to make myself be better. I thought it was up to me to accomplish it.
Colossians 3:12 tells us, “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
When I would read a scripture like this one I would make a list of characteristics I needed to master by having:
-A Compassionate Heart
By my standard I had good days and bad days. When I failed I would flog myself (mentally) like the early church 13th Century Fathers do in movies.
When I succeeded I was proud of myself.
Then, by some coincidence (not) I met someone who told me about Spiritual Direction. They even knew a Spiritual Director I could go talk with about questions I had.
At first I wasn’t sure what I thought about that so I asked more questions.
Eventually I decided to make a phone call to set up an appointment. Boy am I ever glad I did.
Month after month I met with my Spiritual Director. Months turned into years and gradually, ever so gradually I came to understand that I had everything backward (which is not really unusual for me).
Take today’s scripture…I thought “put on” meant I had to find in myself a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Since I really only thought I possessed one form of one of those qualities, I had to figure out a way to “get” the others.”
My Spiritual Director asked me how I determined how to accomplish “getting” those.
I thought for a moment and I said something like, “that’s why I came to talk to you.”
Well…the thing about Spiritual Direction is that the director doesn’t “give” answers.
Spiritual Directors ask questions helping the directee see truth from God.
It took time but eventually as he helped me peel back the layers of misconception, I started to see that I wasn’t the one who had to “put on” a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.
All I had to do was to open my hands and wait for God to give it to me. I just needed to be open to receiving it.
As I sat in silence with God, I started to receive a compassionate heart.
I opened my hands to receive kindness.
I accepted God’s humility.
I received God’s gentleness or meekness.
And I asked for patience. I really need God’s patience.
I still struggle from time to time trying to do things myself, but at least now I stop and I remember that there is a God and I am not God.
I am not that powerful.
I need God.
I need to open my hands and receive what God has for me.
All I need to do is to sit in silence with God and receive what God has to give me.
Spiritual Practice: Receive
Sit in silence and receive God’s compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
In God, Deborah