What Should I Wear Today?
You can tell a lot about a person by what they wear. The hipster is known for skinny jeans, v-neck t-shirts, and wire rim glasses. The punk rocker has his long hair and outlandish outfits. The businessman wears his tailored Brook Brother’s suits and Italian leather shoes. The cheerleader has her ribbon tied ponytail with a t-shirt and gym shorts. What we wear communicates who we are and many times what we do. And in our culture, it is so easy to stereotype certain kinds or groups of people.
However, for the believer, we go much deeper than the surface. The surface – the outward actions – only reveals what is in the heart. We want to put on ‘authentic clothing’. We want to put on the very person and nature of Jesus Christ!
In the beginning verses of Colossians 3, Paul begins by using the clothing motif to drive home his point. He tells the Colossian believers what to ‘put off’ in light of who they are in Christ. As we move into verse 12 and beyond, he doesn’t leave us hanging with no response. Paul gives clear and profound application as to what we are to then ‘put on’. He does not leave us solely in the process of putting off the old man but gives us the joyous Christ centered contrast of ‘putting on’ for His Glory and the building up of His Church.
Let us take a deeper look at the phrase ‘Put on’: it literally means to be clothed. In the Greek, there is a since of urgency – the idea that time cannot be wasted when it comes to putting on Christlikeness. This is of upmost importance. This is primary for the believer. And if we are true believers, why would we not put on that which is Christlike? The believer always walks with a keen awareness of His need of Christ and his need to grow in understanding of His character. He understands that his life is a personal reflection of Christ himself. Because of what Christ has done through His grace, the believer is motivated with a since of urgency to reflect an authenticity. He has a life long desire to put on more of Christ!
We can ‘clothe’ ourselves in the virtues of Christ. The qualities that are given are to cover the new man. And it is a process – the process of Christ- wrought sanctification. Christ desires for us to ‘clothe’ ourselves in the virtues that represent who He is. He even brings circumstances in our life that will mold us into His image because He is concerned for His glory in and through us.
And while we are at it, what are those things we are to be clothed in?
Ask yourself: Do I show kindness to the pain in the neck co-worker? Do I have patience with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as I dwell in community with them? Do I walk in humility as a father? Do I have compassion for the lost in my city? Do I care for the needs that are in my church body all around me? So many times we through walk this life without noticing the human beings that are around us. We as church members walk into corporate worship with all its regularity without so much as a notice of who is around us and who might be hurting. There is more than just coming to corporate worship on Sunday. We are called to step miles away from our comfort zone and to engage in one another’s life – clothed in the virtues of Christ. Christ did it for us and so we must do it to each other and to the world.
Next week, be sure to join me again as we delve into more of how ‘putting on’ is directly related to being a part of the body of Christ.