I’ve been tempted to do lots of things—but one thing I have never been tempted to do is leave the house naked. I am sure that this comes as a great relief to many people, especially those I work with, but if we were to conduct a poll I have a strong suspicion that I am not alone when it comes to my penchant for dressing every day. Unless a person was raised in the deep Amazon rain forest, the odds are that you did not grow up in a household where there was an “optional clothing” rule. But getting dressed is optional in the sense that this is not our “natural state” of being. God made both Adam and Eve naked and every human being since them has come from the womb “au naturale.”
In spite of nakedness being our “natural” state, everyone I know prefers to wear clothes. One of Adam and Eve’s first acts after their fall from grace was a very pathetic attempt to sew some leaves together to cover themselves. Thankfully, their attempt at attire never caught on. God took one look at those gaudy green garments and intervened with some very stylish new leather and fur outfits. The “Fall” fashions soon became a hit and animals have never felt safe since.
So, why all this talk about clothing? Well, the other day as I was going through my morning grooming ritual I pondered about how much effort we humans put into our daily dressing routines. Later that day my informal survey of co-workers and close friends indicated that they take about 30 to 45 minutes a day between in the bathroom and getting dressed. The question it led me to was, “Do I devote as much time to spiritual state of attire as I do my physical attire?
As God’s holy people, we are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col. 3:12). I picture this as pulling on my pants of patience, my shirt of compassion, and my hat of humility. In other words, it is our responsibility to dress ourselves with this heavenly garb each day. God tells us that, although I have this new spiritual man of “Christ in me,” I must “put on” this new man.
“…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
“…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
I love the imagery of getting spiritually dressed. Even in the Old Testament Job visualized clothing himself spiritually.
“I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.”
When we encounter another person, the most predominant thing we see is their clothing! Think about this for a second—when you remember a friend you see them in your mind, but you don’t see them without clothes on. Clothing becomes an integral part of who we are and how people see us. In a similar way, what we “put on” spiritually is what people will see. And the most important thing we need to attire ourselves in every day is love.
This is something that I can remember every day as I connect it with grooming and putting on my clothes. This is a perfect time of day to reflect on promises of God and praise Him for all He’s done. When I make a mistake or sin in someway, like yesterday’s soiled garments, I can shed them and toss them into the hamper. Say out loud as you prepare for the day, “Praise God! Today is a new day!
God’s mercy towards me is renewed and I am putting on my fresh garments of grace.” “Today I am putting on the new man; I am clothing myself with the Lord Jesus Christ.” That means that if I have “dressed” properly then when I leave my home the world should see Jesus in me wherever I go.