“…clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:12-14 NLT
I wish I could say that the following thoughts were my own, but actually the idea was shared in a devotion I read this morning. The author was relating a time when she had a role to portray and how when she put on her costume, she was better able to take on the character she was portraying. With my recent experiences in theatre, I could relate to what she was expressing. Many times, as I’ve shared before, people will comment on how hard it must be to memorize all those lines. But there is so much more to developing a character than the lines they must say on stage. The actor must learn where they are to move on stage, analyze the background and personality of their character based on clues in the script, as well as work with personal props and their costume. These are just some of the things the actor must consider to create a well-rounded, believable character that interacts with the other characters to bring the story to life.
All these activities bring to mind the spiritual disciplines of memorizing and meditating on God’s word. Lately, I have been thinking of the Bible as my script, and studying it to find out how as a child of God I am supposed to act. It is a common practice to memorize sections of Scripture and then to mull it over and think about how it might change our perspective or our actions. In acting, a person rehearses their lines and their blocking over and over until it becomes a part of the character they are representing. I think this relates to memorizing and meditating. After weeks of rehearsal, one of the most exciting times is when the costumes are given out. The actors don their costumes, which seem to complete their character. Now all they need are few dress rehearsals to feel out how everything works together, and then they need an audience.
In a spiritual sense, we put on the attitudes and actions that are implied in Scripture and our character expands. It is not enough just to rehearse and meditate on the meaning, we need to clothe ourselves in the attributes of the new life outlined for us in Scripture, and modeled by Christ.
Let’s go to the costume closet and find something that will enhance our character, which each of us have inside, and give the performance of our lives for our personal audiences, those we live with and work with in order to offer more love and more peace and more acceptance and more forgiveness.