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As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Col. 3:12

 

Dear Jesus, in preparation for an upcoming fly-fishing trip to Montana, I decided it’s time to check for leaks in my Gore-Tex chest-waders. This lightweight layer of protection has served me well in various conditions. Fortunately, only trout, not piranha, inhabit the Smith River.

However, in the oceans, rivers, and streams of life, it’s different. Various species of toothy-piranha swim and bite at will. In recent years, they seem to be multiplying. Jesus, thank you for giving us something far better than Simms Gore-Tex waders, for preparation and protection. As your “chosen, set-apart, and dearly loved people, there are 5 articles we are to clothe ourselves with all the time: “Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

These 5 grace-garments are never out of style, breathable but warm, and very comfortable next to the heart. They serve us well in every setting, no matter the “temperature.” There are times when we need to receive good (if painful) feedback with humility, teachability, and a non-defensive spirit.

Other times we are the targets of unjust criticism, “drive-by-spite-shootings,” devilish condemnation, or are simply an easy snack for anonymous “gossip-piranha.” All metaphors and analogies aside, Jesus, this is serious stuff.

How we love, react, and respond matters—whether we are on the receiving or giving end of feedback. You have told us “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6). Help us Jesus, big time, help us. So Very Amen.

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