(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
What Not to Wear
By Zelda Dominguez
“Clothe yourselves with the new nature, which was created according to God’s image in righteousness and true holiness”
– Ephesians 4:20 (NIV)
Have you noticed at a red carpet event where the announcer will ask the celebrities, “Who are you wearing?” The announcer is asking who designed their clothes. Whether it is Gucci, Dior, Louie Vuitton, or Stella McCartney, the majority of dresses are either rented or given to the celebrity to wear for the night. The celebrities do this to look good, and the designers do this to represent themselves. Isn’t it the same for us? Let’s be honest, some of the latest trends look ridiculous, and yet we see women wearing them for the sake of the designer label.
Romans 13:14 says “Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” When we make a decision to follow Jesus, we want to represent Him. He is who makes us beautiful. We are to take off our old nature and its practices, and put on Christ. Who are you wearing?
Remember the movie, “27 Dresses?” Katherine Heigl plays Tess, the girl who loves weddings and is everyone’s bridesmaid. There is a scene where she opens her closet and it’s stuffed with all these dresses that she has worn. I wondered why she kept all of them. I tried to do some spring-cleaning myself, and I felt like Tess as I entered my closet. I have clothes stuffed in there so tightly, and I have boxes of shoes, hats, scarves, belts, purses, and more!
We hold onto unnecessary things because we get attached to our stuff. We have clothes that don’t fit, or will never come back in style. We have clothes with the tags still on them. We have boxes, drawers, attics, garages and even storage spaces filled with the stuff we don’t need, but won’t throw away.
We get accustomed to the clutter in our spiritual lives as well. Like an overstuffed closet, our hearts are often filled with piles of bad habits, fears, and ungodly attitudes. We neatly hang our pride, and stack our baggage from the past and boxes of bitterness on the floor. Our minds are like baskets overflowing with dirty laundry. Unless we clean out our spiritual closets, we will be tempted to grab these unwanted items and put them back on again. Putting on these old clothes is easy, but we are called to wear Jesus. So what items should we get rid of?
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
– Ephesians 4:31 (NLT)
“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.” 1
– Peter 2:1 (NLT)
“But now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing, and dirty language.”
– Colossians 3:8 (TLB)
“Remove your dark deed like dirty clothes and put on the shining armor of right living.”
– Romans 13:12 (NLT)
Paul challenges us to put off our old self in every area of our lives. Put off all those old habits, just as you would discard old worn shoes. I encourage you to examine yourself and do some cleaning. Don’t just clean the surface, but clean deep inside of yourself and get rid of all of the spiritual garments that you don’t need.
I recently went shopping and tried on some dresses that I thought would look great. Two saleswomen started to critique me as I walked out in front of the dressing room mirror. They saw me and said, “absolutely not.” They suggested other selections they thought would be more flattering, but I wanted to stick to my choices. I went along with their suggestions and tried them on. I would never have picked the clothes they did; I was surprised that they were right. I wasn’t used to the clothes, but they did look good, and I bought them. In the same way, God has instructed us about what not to wear and what to put on in a spiritual sense. It may feel different, but you’ll be surprised as you continue to grow in your new nature. Keep wearing Christ, our designer. He really looks good on you!