Friday, January 18, 2013

Choosing your clothes

I woke up this morning and went through the same daily routine that we all go through — I chose my clothes for the day.  I’m not sure what you do, but the final approval on what I’m wearing is my wife.  This is the pattern I follow every morning: I get dressed, walk into our living room where she is usually seated with her cup of coffee, and ask the same question, “Does this look okay?” And my wife, true to her character, and because she doesn’t want me to embarrass her or my family always responds honestly with either  “You look good,” or, “You can’t wear that!”

There are some days, though, where even I can sense something is off, and that happened today. As a matter of fact, as I walked myself in front of her, I didn’t ask her if this looked okay,. I asked her if this looked “wonky.”  Her reply was reassuring to me as she simply said, “yes,” and proceeded to help me find something that was a match. Well, my name had been preserved and my family saved another embarrassing moment, thanks to my wife. But my mind has wandered a little as I reflect on what happened to me this morning.

This incident, which actually happened by the way, allows you a peek into the paranoia that is my life, where I find myself wondering every day whether my clothes match.  But as important as my “physical” clothes are to me, this also has me wondering about another set of clothing — the ones that Paul instructs us in Colossians that we are to “put on.”  Read again what he tells us to wear:

“These are the clothes you must put on, then, since God has chosen you, made you holy, and lavished his love upon you.  You must be tender-hearted, kind, humble, meek, and ready to put up with anything.  You must bear with one another and if anyone has a complaint against someone else, you must forgive each other.  Just as the master forgave you, you must do the same.  On top of all this you must put on love, which ties everything together and makes it complete.”  Col 3:12-14, Kingdom New Testament

Love is the “article” of clothing that, if you’ll allow me to say it this way, makes our outfit complete.  It’s like the sweater vest that brings together your pants and shirt, or the scarf that makes your ensemble “work.”  Love is what helps our outfit make sense, so it doesn’t come across “wonky.” I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather not have that happen.

It’s written for those who might disagree, or at times even be offended. When this happens, Paul is telling us that, as people of faith, there is a proper way for us to respond, and that is by wearing a very specific set of clothing.  As my wife serves as the final word on my physical clothing, there is One to whom we are accountable for our spiritual clothes as well, the One who determines the wardrobe for us as described above.

So, I’m thinking about clothing this morning.  And as I’m thinking about clothing, I also find myself asking a question: if these are the words that are the standard of dress that we don’t want to compromise, are my clothes matching today?

As we continue to move through this semester, my prayer for us all is that we are wearing the right clothes, put together in the right way.

Text for the week:  Colossians 3:12-14

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