As we talked last week about getting rid of old filthy garments and now this week we will be talking about putting on clean garments, it reminded of me of the book and then the common expression, Dress for Success.
The Premise of this book written in the 70’s was that through scientific study, they found that if you want to succeed, you need to dress the part.
Subsequent studies have been done and it has been verified multiple times that how you dress does effect your mindset and your behavior.
You are more confident, and tend to think differently when you dress more professionally.
The way you dress greatly influences the way people perceive you.
Hence, the way you dress will influence your success.
Paul wanted the Christians in Colossae and everywhere to be successful Christians.
He wanted them to know the true gospel, and to live as true Christ followers.
This was also, obviously the desire of the Christians in Colossae.
Which is why they came under the influence of other teachers who were teaching them wrong ideas about how to be true Christians.
So, Paul wrote this letter to the Colossians to set them back on the right path of understanding how they became Christians, and how they should be living successful Christian lives.
We see his desire in Colossians 1:9-12.
Let’s pray this scripture for ourselves this morning, and then we will dig into the passage for today.
What do you need to put on?
How to “Dress for Success”
The passage for today is Colossians 3:12-14.
What I would like to do is to read from the beginning of the chapter, because these three verses are a part of what Paul has been developing through the chapter.
But this is not just an outward practice.
As we saw last week, it is a change from the inside out.
It takes getting down to our desires that spring from our old sinful, self-centered nature.
We need to ask the Lord to examine our hearts and reveal our evil desires—those desires that are contrary to our Lord’s purpose and desires.
We need to confess those desires, and put them to death.
We need to take them off like the filthy garments that they are!
Today, we are going to look more closely at the complimentary action of putting on.
Just as we need to get rid of the old filthy garments of our evil desires, we need to put on new, clean garments of godly desires.
Dressing for Success begins with
Know who you are
God’s Chosen People
We decide what to wear… We make the decision each day.
In the same way, we need to make the decision to clothe ourselves with the following:
Word for intestines, bowels.
Old King James - bowels of mercy
George Bernard Shaw once wrote a letter to Churchill: “Enclosed are two tickets to the opening night of my first play … bring a friend (if you have one).”
Churchill replied: “Dear Mr. Shaw, unfortunately I’ll be unable to attend the opening night of your play due to a prior engagement.
Please send me tickets for a second night (if you have one).”
esteeming ourselves as small, inasmuch as we are so, the correct estimate of ourselves - Zodhiates, WSNTDICT
meekness - not weakness, but in power.
balance born in strength of character
balance between getting angry without reason, and never getting angry
getting angry at the right time in the right measure for the right reason - Zodhiates, WSNTDICT
The one who chased the money changers out of the temple on two occasions?
The one who stood up to the religious leaders of the day?
The one who bore the stripes of the Roman flogging?
The one who took the nails and hung on the cross?
The one who bore the sins of you and me and the rest of the world?
But he was gentle.
He was powerful, and in power could deal gently with others.
Long suffering - able to avenge, yet refrains
What happens when we Dress for success?
Bearing with each other
Forgiving each other
John Perkins tells how he was beaten in a Mississippi jail, being repeatedly kicked and stomped on as he lay in a fetal position for protection.
The beating went on and on as he writhed in a pool of his own blood while inebriated officers took turns, using their feet and blackjacks.
At one point an officer took an unloaded pistol, put it to Perkins’s head, and pulled the trigger.
Then another bigger man beat him until he was unconscious.
As the night wore on, it got worse.
During a conscious period, one officer pushed a fork down his throat.10
It was barbarous torture, a great, substantive reason to hate.
But this is what happened, as John Perkins tells it:
The Spirit of God worked on me as I lay in that bed.
An image formed in my mind.
The image of the cross—Christ on the cross.
It blotted out everything else in my mind.
This Jesus knew what I had suffered.
And He cared.
Because He had experienced it all Himself.
This Jesus, this One who had brought good news directly from God in heaven, had lived what He preached.
Yet He was arrested and falsely accused.
Like me, He went through an unjust trial.
He also faced a lynch mob and got beaten.
But even more than that, He was nailed to rough wooden planks and killed.
Killed like a common criminal.
At the crucial moment, it seemed to Jesus that even God Himself had deserted Him.
The suffering was so great, He cried out in agony.
He was dying.
But when He looked at that mob who had lynched Him, He didn’t hate them.
He loved them.
He forgave them.
And He prayed God to forgive them.
“Father, forgive these people, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
His enemies hated.
But Jesus forgave.
I couldn’t get away from that.…
It’s a profound, mysterious truth—Jesus’ concept of love overpowering hate.
I may not see its victory in my lifetime.