"Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires...and...put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22,24, NIV).
Leisure suits. Wide ties. Platform shoes. They all seemed like good ideas in their time (or so I've been told), but history has not been kind to their memory. Of course, some things just never made sense. Parachute pants. Nuff said. In time, they all went the way of the mastodon. Chances are, your closet contains one of these fashion fossils, these relics to a time long forgotten. But why? Why do we hold on to articles of clothing that simply cannot - or should not - be worn any longer? Are we sentimental? Hopeful? Waiting for the time that hammer pants make a comeback?
In all seriousness though, our wardrobe choices speak to the spiritual realities that govern our lives. But more than issues of modesty or propriety, what we wear reminds us that there are other issues - issues of the heart - that need our attention even more so that choosing between paisley or stripes.
Paul reminds us in Galatians that when we were baptized into Christ, we put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). Before we came to saving faith in Christ we wore the world, with all of its corruption. Pride, selfish ambition, bitterness, lust, unforgiveness, greed; these were just some of the things we donned with flair and unapologetic abandon, just like those unforgivable hammer pants. But with our conversion, we stripped away our former attire and took upon ourselves a new spiritual wardrobe. We were clothed with the very nature of Christ. Writing to the Ephesians (above), Paul stressed how important it is to put off our old selves, and to make a conscience decision to put on Christ in the everyday stuff of life.
Going to the closet as a new creation in Christ Jesus, we can see that some of those old suits just don't fit anymore. Like old clothes that need to be discarded, we find the fashion choices of our old sin life to be out of step and out of style. As you prepare for each day ahead, think about the person you are portraying to the world around you. You can choose to blend in, to be a spiritual and social chameleon, or you can choose to stand out, allowing the grace of God at work in your heart to set a new standard. Don't follow the fashion trends of a world that has lost its way, but choose daily to put on Christ. Some things just don't need to make a comeback.
Scripture for reflection and prayer:
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12, New King James Version).