Last week, I attended a ceremony and reception dedicating a statue in honor of a former dean of the College of Education at Troy University, Dr. James Kimbrough.
He has been a great supporter of Baptist Campus Ministries over many years and continues to provide encouragement for me personally.
However, I did not plan well for the day. I had on a nice button-down shirt, which looked good with my jeans and boots. But I felt really out of place among the many suits and sports jackets in the crowd.
It was good to celebrate, but I would have liked to have run home and changed into a different outfit!
Many times, we judge ourselves and others by how we look on the outside, especially when we gather for worship on Sunday mornings.
As we have been studying about our identity in Christ this semester at BCM, I am reminded of a word of wisdom attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.”
Moving beyond what we look like and say, what do others see in our actions and attitudes?
Colossians 3 emphasizes the death of our old nature and being renewed in the image of Christ. The picture is that of taking off old clothes and putting on new clothes of righteousness, renewing our hearts in the love of Christ.
We can talk good all we want, but God (and people) know our hearts by our character and actions. We are all in need of Christ our Savior Who takes our sin and replaces it with his righteousness.
Paul in Colossians 3:12-17 says to clothe yourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, …. Offering forgiveness as God has done for us, and, above all, to love others.”
These are the characteristics we will develop as we spend time with God in His Word, worshipping together as His church and encouraging each other along the way.
This scripture says “in all we do in word and deed” we are to give thanks to God and His peace will rule our hearts.
In working with students, I pray they will put on Christ, that others will see Jesus in their actions and attitudes. I pray that others will see and hear the Gospel as students are sent out to serve on the campus and on mission throughout the world.
Dr. Kimbrough is a great example of one who has put on the new clothes provided by Christ.
I am thankful for his influence in my life and on many others in the Troy community. May God raise up many others to follow in his footsteps.