So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12 MSG)
We are given a full "wardrobe" to choose from - not that we'd put on one without the other - but that each 'piece' of that wardrobe would serve a unique purpose in our lives. Yet, we are given that ONE all-purpose 'garment' we are to adorn ourselves with each and everyday. It is kind of like that one thing we'd never leave home without putting on. We are to put on compassion, but have you ever tried being compassionate toward anyone without realizing love is at the core of that action? We are to put on kindness, but go out there and try being kind to someone who is being a little bit of a pain in the neck and see if it is possible without the underlying garment of love. It isn't! At best, we will 'fake' a little kindness, but it won't really be genuine!
Now, there are some garments we wear that have a specific purpose - no other garment will do the same job as those garments. Think of the raincoat - it repels water, so we wear it when we need to keep our other garments dry. The shoes we wear are really to protect our feet from the hazards we can encounter on the way from here to there. Not every pair of shoes requires a pair of socks with them (that may come as a surprise to those who wear socks with sandals!) - but socks serve a purpose when worn in cold weather with our snow boots. Love is the one garment that serves the purpose of an 'all-around' covering. It does more than surround our feet, or keep us dry on rainy days. It serves to envelop us in something that not only brings us benefit, but benefits others who are 'touched' by that garment!
We may want to 'dress quickly' some mornings, running short on time, in a hurry to get at whatever the day holds. There is no short-cut to dressing well, though! We need to always find time to adorn ourselves with the garment of love, for no other garment will help us in the various encounters we will have that day, or keep us on an even keel when challenges begin to mount up. Notice all the other garments - they are 'founded' upon the garment of love. Don't let a day begin without adorning yourself with that all-purpose garment! You won't regret the time it takes to 'dress appropriately' for the day! Just sayin!