Living in northern Minnesota in the wintertime, we must bundle-up anytime we want to go outside. Bundling up means putting on a warm coat, hat, scarf, boots, and mittens. This gear protects us against penetrating cold and biting wind, allowing us to go outside and function.
As Christians living in the world today, we too must bundle-up. Bundling up in this sense means putting on the virtues of Christ. All of this gear helps to protect against penetrating evil and biting sin and allows us to go out and make a difference in the world.
St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, tell us how to bundle-up. “Put on then…compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. And over all these put on love”
(Colossians 3:12, 14).
It can sometimes be uncomfortable to put on compassion. It requires us to suffer with others rather than turning away. When we put on compassion, we are putting on the heart of Christ.
When we bundle-up in kindness, we are putting on something that the world really needs. Our acts of kindness may only touch someone for a moment, but they have the power to make a big difference.
When we put on humility, we are putting on a true understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. It helps recognize our dependence on God, thank Him for all our gifts and talents, and know that our true strength lies in Him.
Putting on gentleness does not come easy. It is something that needs to be first practiced on ourselves. If we treat ourselves harshly, we will surely do the same to others. Gentleness calls us to let go of expectations that can be heavy burdens for ourselves and the people around us.
When we bundle-up with patience, we are preparing ourselves to wait for good. Patience helps us to tolerate the many imperfections that sin lets into our world.
Love is a must if we are going to properly bundle-up. With love we give witness to God in the world. Love is that piece of our attire that makes us noticeable as Christians.
So, there you go! Bundle-up “and whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).