By Captain Jessica Stevens
Family Care Director – College For Officer Training
Small talk about wardrobe, what to wear, etc.
- How many of us have been going out with a group of friends, and called or texted first to see what everyone was wearing? What’s the wardrobe going to be for the evening?
- Casual? Business casual or California casual?
- If I’m going to a conference, I want to know about the dress code: Fatigue uniform? Civvies? Full tunic required?
- Salvation Army corps retreat: Are we making corps T-shirts? Do we need hiking boots?
- Fancy date with your spouse? Are they wearing a dress jacket? Is it a maxi dress and sandals kind of thing, or a heels and little black dress kind of thing?
- What’s your favorite type of clothes to wear? What makes you feel most comfortable and most at home? Are you a jeans and screen printed t-shirt kind of girl, or a bit more formal?
- What kind of clothing makes you most uncomfortable? Where do you feel ill at ease?
In our Scripture today, Paul talks to the Colossians about qualities that need to be “taken off,” and then gives them a new wardrobe, one that needs to consciously be “put on.”
Read Colossians 3:12-17 out loud together.
Questions for reflection and discussion:
- What is one quality of your personality you wish you could change? Why?
- Which of these qualities listed in verses 12 and 13 are areas of growth for you?
- Which feel more natural?
- Has there been a time in your life when you needed to be treated with “tenderhearted mercy” and instead you were met with rigidity or judgment? If you feel comfortable, describe the situation to the group. How could the outcome have changed if mercy reigned?
- Think through the last week, when could you have worn different clothing? (When could you have been kinder, gentler, or more patient).
- What personality types are hardest for you to deal with? What can you learn about these personalities? How can you ask the Spirit to reign in the interactions you have with these people?
One thing we hear in The Salvation Army, as officers, is the phrase “tunic is always appropriate;” meaning that, if you don’t know what form of uniform to wear, or even what to wear, you can’t go wrong wearing a tunic. In Southern California or Seattle, some might say Birkenstocks are always appropriate. 12 We might go back and forth when choosing an outfit for a date or a afternoon out with friends; but we have no need to do so when it comes to putting on the qualities of Christ. Our lives in Jesus must include the qualities we read about today. These verses tell us that love binds all the others together, in essence, love is the perfect accessory. As 1 Corinthians reminds us: our accomplishments or actions are without depth or significance if we are unloving. Love is always appropriate, regardless of the weather, or what others are wearing. We can wear the love of Jesus in every situation.
- Have each woman choose an attribute from verses 12-14, and pray specifically for more of it in their lives. “Jesus, I need your tenderhearted mercy in my life. Help me see others the way you see them.”
- Anagrams: Provide notecards and make anagrams out of the attributes. Use sticky notes to stick on the attributes onto one another. For instance, if you see gentleness in someone, you put a sticky note on them that says “Gentle” or with a note of affirmation included.
Scriptures for Further Study:
- Galatians 5:22-26
- Ephesians 4:17-24
Download a printable version of the Bible Study: