Hello To All You Bloomie Friends Out There,
First off, I have to let you know how excited I am that Jess and Angie have invited me to be part of your community. This is a gift.
I chose to write about the virtues found in Colossians 3 because putting on things like patience, joy, gentleness, love, peace, kindness and compassion is essential for Christ-like living while simultaneously can be quite challenging. The Apostle Paul uses the metaphor of putting on the virtues like you put on your clothes, but for much of my life I felt more like I was wrestling them on.
Like when you’re in the fitting room and your arms are above your head and you start what appears to be a frenetic shimmy into an outfit that should have had an extra button, zipper, or should simply be a large. I don’t think this is what Paul had in mind.
Though I grew up in a Christian home and had accumulated a lot of knowledge about these Christ-like characteristics, I realized my approach to them was backwards. That I had tried to pick the virtues-lock without the primary key Paul reveals to us in Colossians: That we are chosen, made holy and dearly loved.
Without understanding these truths in the deepest places of our hearts the virtues can quickly become a maddening endeavor of dress-up. I also discovered that I had been trying to put on things like peace without taking off worry; Patience without removing selfishness; Forgiveness while trying to hold onto anger. It’s impossible to wear several competing outfits at once, but how I tried…
If there was anything I endeavored to do in The Fitting Room it was to write honestly about each one of the aforementioned virtues – tossing out my own failures and victories – while digging into the deep truths of Scripture to discover how we actually live these graces out, not just what they’re supposed to look like.
This is not a book about what you need to do more of or try harder at. Instead, it is meant to be a freeing exploration into how we can wear the virtues in a way that doesn’t stem from legalism or behavior management, but from the indwelling Christ. My greatest hope is that you will turn the last page believing how chosen, set apart and dearly loved you are by Jesus.
And that in this believing you’ll discover a new set of virtues you don’t have to fight, but simply get to wear.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your summer…I am so grateful.