How much thought did you put into what you wore today? Do you lay your clothes or the kid’s clothes out the night before? Do you just grab whatever is handy?
Often we treat the attitudes we put on much like the wardrobe we wear. Some days, just as we throw on our clothes, we simply allow whatever attitudes that surface to be what we wear that day. Impatience, grumpiness, harsh tones can all just bubble up and if we are not intentional, that will be what we wear for the world to see.
At home we often put on our “comfortable clothes” and relax our image. All to often we think home is a place where we can relax our attitudes as well and let whatever mood we are in be what we wear.
When we think of our attitudes like clothes, with choices as to what we wear and what those around us will see, it makes a difference.
When we live in a family and our relationships are set there, we can easily find ourselves becoming casual about how we treat each other. We can begin to assume the people in those relationships are just going to take whatever attitudes we give out, simply because we are family.
Some wise words, from the ancient book of Colossians, gives us six pieces of “attitude clothing” to put on. Next time you pick your clothes, be mindful that you can also choose to “put on” specific characteristics and attitudes that will present you to the world in a whole new fashion. Your home and your family will benefit, and you will find more patience for those you encounter, too.
- Put on Compassion. It’s easy to simply “not really care” about what someone else is going through when your own life if full. Intentionally choose to care today. Listen when someone shares their worry. You may not have an answer for them but you can show that you care.
- Put on Kindness. It’s a busy world out there. Be mindful of adding a simple act of kindness where you can. I was touched recently when a tall young man reached for an item on the top shelf of the grocery store when he saw me struggling to get it. It only took 30 seconds but his kindness touched me.
- Put on Humility. We are all just people, finding our way on the road of life. Share the road. Don’t allow yourself to feel superior or inferior in any way. Our value, as human beings is equal. Intentionally see the ground as level as you engage with others.
- Put on Gentleness. When family comes together at the end of the day or on special occasions, be the one who is gentle in words and tones and attitudes. We never know the harshness that one may have encountered in their day. If you were the one who encountered a harsh experience, being intentionally gentle will help refuel your own soul. Give grace. Harsh words stir things up but gentleness can turn anger away.
- Put on Patience. Impatience can bubble up so quickly. The clock is a tyrant when we leave no margins in our lives. Slow things down: your mind, your running. Refuse to accept impatience in yourself. A patient attitude will smooth life in your home in so many unexpected ways.
- Put on Forgiveness. Often the first person we need to forgive is ourselves. We know where we fail. Yet each day is a new beginning. We know our own shortcomings, and when we take time to invite God into our weak places they can become places of strength. God’s supply of all we need is never ending. When you are aware of your shortfall, take a moment and ask Him to forgive you, then forgive yourself, and exchange your limited supply for His unlimited resources of patience, gentleness, humility, kindness and compassion. He is ready, at the Great Exchange, to help you.
- Put on Love. Love is like the belt that holds the whole outfit together. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love, paired with these six pieces of “clothing” will dress you in a way that will warm you and, in turn, warm those around you.
Which piece of “attitude clothing” will you intentionally put on today?
Choose one from the list above and be mindful today as you begin to create change around you by creating one small change within you.