Make It a Habit

Put on…compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,… forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

— Colossians 3:12-14

About 350 years before Jesus was born, the Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that the key to forming good character was to develop good habits. If one wants to become a courageous person, then one must develop courageous habits. If one wants to become a just person, than develop just habits. He contended that good character doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistent, daily effort. Over time, by developing the habits of a person with good character, one becomes a person of good character.

The Apostle Paul instructed Christians to do something very similar in order to develop Christ-like character. The traits Paul mentioned in Colossians 3 clearly reflect the character of Jesus—forgiveness, kindness, compassion and more. So what are we to do with these qualities?

Put them on.

The words put on originally referred to wearing clothes and could be translated “clothe yourself” (see the New International Version). Getting dressed is not something we do once in our lives. It is something we do every day, again and again. Sometimes we do it many times in the course of a day. Was it just a coincidence that Paul chose this expression to describe what we are supposed to do with the traits of Jesus? Not likely.

To become like Jesus, we must choose to put on His character traits every day, sometimes more than once a day. We have to make them a habit. And once they become a habit, our character has changed. Over time, by developing the habits of Jesus, we become like Jesus.

Today’s One Thing

Choose one Christ-like trait—whether compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness or love—and put it on today.

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