I’ve cautioned you in a previous blog to never come to me for financial advice. I need to add another caution. I am not the person to come to for fashion tips either. Nope. Don’t do it.
I usually dress nice and even stylish when I’m let loose among the public, but the reason I dress well is because MY WIFE DRESSES ME. I’m not ashamed of that because, if left to my own choices, I’d probably still dress like Greg Brady. (And I could. I still own the bright red suit I wore in the 70s.)
Despite my inherent weakness in choosing clothes that make my wife wince, I do want to offer you one bit of fashion advice. It has to do with how you dress as a Christian.
I have no desire to tell you that all the hip Christians are wearing skinny jeans this year. Nor will I tell you that, while Jesus loves all of us, He has a special place in His heart for those who wear coats and ties to church even in summer. What I will pass on is something the apostle Paul said.
“But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self…. Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col. 3:8-10,12).
As followers of Christ, we are to put on—to wear—these Christlike qualities. But in order to put them on, we’ve got to take off the old clothes.
One of Jesus’ greatest miracles was the raising of his friend Lazarus. Lazarus had been dead for four days, but when Jesus called to him, Lazarus came out of the tomb fully alive. “The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unwrap him and let him go’” (John 11:44).
It may seem obvious that the linen strips should be removed from Lazarus. After all, he was no longer dead. Yet too many people claim to be alive in Christ—they claim to have a relationship with Him—but they’re often seen wearing the clothes of the old, dead life: anger, malice, pride, impatience, a lack of love, and so forth.
It’s not a pretty look on anyone, especially for the one who calls himself a Christian. And if it’s not a pretty look in God’s eyes, it’s definitely not a pretty look.
Jesus told a parable about a wedding banquet that speaks to this.
“So those servants went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.
“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matt. 22:10-13).
One day we will be in Christ’s presence celebrating His victory and our eternal home with Him. What we wear then will matter—and it matters now.
“’Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, reigns! Let us be glad, rejoice, and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself. She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.’ For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints” (Rev. 19:6-8).
We won’t live in the presence of God with the clothes of the old life: the self-centered sin nature. We will wear the fine linen that represents our righteous acts. And we’re to live that way now. We must put on Christ and display His Christlike character as we let Him live through us. Anything of our own is just “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6).
This is more than fashion advice. It’s a command. But I promise: if you wear the clothing of a Christ-centered believer, you’ll look good. Very good. And it’s a fashion that will never go out of style. You’ll wear it for eternity.
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