What are you wearing?
What are you wearing?
Have you ever wondered how you appear to others? I'm sure you must have, in fact probably in the not so distant future, you have an event to attend and you are wondering what you should be wearing.
You really want to look your best, and you also desire for those who see you to admire your choice of wardrobe.
But what if you suddenly entered a room, and all eyes fell upon you. You might say “wow, I really have blown them away with my new ensemble,” all the while they are speechless, not because of your wardrobe, but the lack thereof. You are naked! Every bulge that you wished to hide, and every blemish that you tried to cover, has suddenly been revealed.
You feel the burning of embarrassment coursing through your veins, you only want to run away to some remote corner of the room or to another room altogether and get away from those eyes.
Have you ever seen the TV commercial where a person commits an error in judgment, and then the narrator chimes in with “want to get away.” It's an add for Southwest airlines and like the commercial, we more than likely would want to get away if we are caught with more than just our guard down.
A story based upon a similar narrative of being with clothes, then finding you are suddenly without them comes from Hans Christian Anderson in his tale “The Emperor's New Clothes.”
In this story, a vain emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who are really swindlers that promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "just hopelessly stupid". The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others.
(borrowed from the plot portion of Wikipedia)
I dressed myself today
Let God clothe us
This word picture reminds me of how, so vainly, we try to hide our sin from God. He sees all and yet we fool ourselves into thinking we can hide. In the Bible, God goes looking for Adam and Eve and he calls to them “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Gen. 3:10
Adam and Eve had been deceived by the Satan, just as the emperor had been swindled by the two fake tailors. Is this not the same plot that goes on each and every day of our lives. We are told through advertisement or friends, even family, that we need this or that to be successful or happy, then we find nothing except temporary pleasure and the cycle begins again. We have become fools in the eyes of the righteous. The clothing that should matter most is the clothing of righteousness, an example in the Bible we have Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Armour of God
Are we there yet?
But perhaps the best example of how we, as Christians, should dress not impress the masses, but to make a submission to God in addressing His righteousness by wearing what he provides for us comes from Ephesians 6:10-17
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Still, perhaps this message does not speak to you and so the same has been said over and over and you want what you want. But God sees through our thinly veiled disguise, He knows our motives no matter how cleverly concealed. What we may think as being clothed wholly, in His eyes, the eyes that matter most, falls much too short.
Isaiah sums up our taste in clothing as compared to our Creators this way.
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Please, let us not fool ourselves into believing we need only the approval of mankind to enter Heaven's gates. If this were so, we as a people, should hold no fear about death. But to be absolutely certain about whether I am dressed appropriately for the occasion of meeting my Creator face to face, I will seek His favor by abiding in His word, and not mans.
What are you wearing?
Jesus gave us a story about a great banquet; a wedding feast for the son of a king. And all that were invited to gather at the feast, were either too busy or ignored the invitation to come. Still others who were invited seized the messengers and first shamed, then killed them.
When the king found out how his servants were received he sent soldiers to destroy the murderers and destroy their towns. After that, he said to his servants “The wedding feast is ready, but those I had invited were not worthy, therefore go out into the streets and invite as many as you can find.
The servants did go, and they invited all they could find to the feast, both good and bad., and the hall was completely filled.
But when the king entered the hall, he found a man wearing no wedding garment. And the king asked “Friend, how is it you come to the feast without proper attire?” The man was speechless, and the king had him bound hand an foot then thrown out into the darkness.
Friend, what are you wearing, are you clothed in Christ; is your garment white as snow, cut from the same cloth? If you are unsure, have a talk with Him now. Perhaps we have only dirtied our shoes, by treading were we should not have been, He can clean that. Go to Him, He has been there and knows what a world of temptation we live in, and He can get out the stains of sin that we can't.
Even the late Billy Mays of Oxiclean fame would have a tough sell promoting that product against the likes of Omniclean. There is only one God and He knows what you are wearing, does that make you feel like changing?
One more thing about the clothes we wear, beware of those who come in disguise. They come wearing the clothing of sheep, but they are actually ravenous wolves underneath. Matthew 7:15
Just as those tailors deceived the king, we must be on constant guard for the enemies appearance, lest we be fooled by those who oppose the teachings of Christ. Take this example from
Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing very nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. You show special attention to the person wearing nice clothes. You say, “Sit here in this good seat.” But you say to the poor person, “Stand there!” or “Sit on the floor by our feet!”
Who knows better what we look like than God; hell ... some of us walk away from the mirror forgetting what we look like, yet we judge those around us by the way the look? God can't have such division among His children, we are all equal in His eyes. Let us do our best to entertain all who come in the name of the Lord, testing their spirit, by speaking in truth and with love. But let us not be harsh or quick to judge by outward appearance only or we ourselves may be judged and the only thing we may find to wear then may be a frown.