“What should I wear today?”
So many things factor into my decision -- the weather, my mood, where I’m going or who I’m seeing today. I’ll wear certain clothes for a work out and different clothes for lunch with a friend and a totally different outfit if I’m going out to dinner with my hubby. And even the lunch with a friend outfit, the snappy caz look, totally varies with my mood. Am I feeling funky? Artsy? Classic? Frilly?
I’m such a writer nerd I even dress “in character” sometimes when I’m writing. I might wear cowboy boots and a denim jacket like my character, Claire, or a purple scarf since purple is Hannah’s favorite color. It helps me process how they might act, or what they might say.
But there is another decision I must make each day as well. Not about what I’ll physically wear, but about what I’ll wear spiritually. Will I put on old habits, and persistent worries? Will I slide on a little judgment or buckle on my ego? When I get dressed spiritually will I pull on fear or anxiety or shame? Or will I clothe myself in Christ?
Why should I clothe myself in Christ?
For one thing, if I’m clothed in Christ I am surrounded by him, literally wrapped up in Him, cocooned in Him, enveloped by Him. What beautiful imagery to remember I am loved and protected by my Savior.
Also, if I’m clothed in Christ, then I always have Him with me. I’ll never leave Him on my dresser or in my other purse or in the car if I’m wearing Him. And if I always have Him with me, well, that’s a really good companion to guide me along my journey. The best.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27 NIV
And if I’m clothed in Christ, then when others look at me, they’ll see Him. Right? How many times has someone complimented your scarf or your earrings? It’s not because they think you have a stylish neck or gorgeous ears, but others see the things we wear. If we’re supposed to shine Christ’s light, to go out and share the Good News, then why not put on Christ, so others can see Him wherever we go?
The really cool thing about being clothed in Christ is that when I wear Christ, I don’t need anything else. He always fits, is always comfortable, never makes me look fat, matches perfectly and makes me feels good all over.
When I go running I need running shorts and a t-shirt. But I also need to wear running shoes, socks, and a running bra. I also want a ponytail holder and preferably a headband to keep my crazy hair out of my eyes.
But when I wear Christ. I need nothing else. Nothing.
In fact when I add anything to Christ I actually take away from Him. If I think anything I can do will help who I am or harm who I am, I’m wrong. Think about it as zipping up the cutest floral sundress and then topping it with a plaid wool coat. Ick! It ruins the whole thing, takes away from how darling the dress was to begin with. A total Fashion Don’t. That’s what we do when we think we should be seen or viewed or valued as our relationship with Christ plus this achievement or plus that good thing we did or have or made.
Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t’ loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! Romans 13:14
This all sounds great, as I get ready in the morning. I don’t want anything but Jesus. I read my Bible, jot some thoughts down in my journal, pray too. Hop behind the wheel of my car and crank up Air1. And then it starts, doesn’t it? In line at Starbucks the girl in front of me has her nails painted a beautiful pale pink for spring and her hair is straighter than a ruler.
That girl’s nails are gorgeous. I love that color. I should get that color. I thought I liked the new pink I got, but hers is way prettier and how does she get her hair so straight? Does it take her forever? Probably.
In my car armed with dark roast with a shot of mocha, I successfully grab some groceries, hit the ATM, fill up my tank with gas and return a stack of library books all in a matter of 45 minutes.
I rock. I’m so efficient and organized. I totally multi-tasked, chose out a great route at a quiet time of day to accomplish all of this. I can do it all!
Back home at my computer I find an email holding a rejection to a book proposal I’ve submitted.
They didn’t like my book? Really? Why? Does it stink? Am I not supposed to write this book? Am I not supposed to write at all? Who made this decision anyway? I can’t do it all! Where’s the chocolate?
And an hour after clothing myself in Christ I’ve allowed self talk in my crazy brain to add a scarf of social comparisons, bangle bracelets that clang my praises like a gong and a belt of self doubt and insecurity. I’m only accepting half of His grace. Because when I accept His full grace, I know 100% that I don’t need anything but Him.
I don’t need any of those worldly “accessories”. Jesus set me free! He set you free! When He died on that cross all of our past and shame and sins and shortcomings were nailed to the cross with Him. It doesn’t matter what anyone else wears or has or does. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been as long as where we’re going is with Jesus. What matters now is that we love Him and that He loves us. That’s it.
And when we clothe ourselves in Christ, not only do others see His light shining brightly, but also God looks at us and sees that outfit of Jesus. He sees us at our best, as He created us, pure and radiant, like Jesus.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1 NIV
What will you wear today? Don’t be a fashion don’t. Clothe yourself in Christ.
Laura L. Smith