Every award season, we hear the now-familiar, if not overused, question, “Who are you wearing?” Stars are proud to proclaim the name of their fashion designer. The celebs strut the Red Carpet and stop to pose so that viewers can see all the design details. To some extent, the chosen dress, gown, or suit reflects the character of the wearer or portrays a desired image. For at least that evening, the clothes represent the person.
What you wear can also impact how you behave. Red Carpet stars don’t slouch; they are careful to demonstrate good posture and walk like models on a runway. In addition, teachers will confirm that the more casually students are dressed, the more casual their posture and attitude in class will most likely be. When students are better dressed, the opposite is also true. What or “Who” you wear matters.
The same question could be asked of Christians: Who are you wearing? Who are you representing? Paul tells us what we should and should not wear. Believers are to put off, utterly renounce, our old nature with its carnal traits and put on, clothe ourselves with, our new self in Christ. Colossians 3:5-9 tells us to put to death, play dead, to characteristics such as anger, malice, abusive speech, lying, and all sorts of impurities. Colossians 3:10 contrasts our old nature with our new. Paul says that as believers we have already put on the new self, and now it is being renewed day by day.
Once we have put on the new nature in the one-time act of salvation, we begin the ongoing process of aligning ourselves with the new nature. Our outward behavior should begin to reflect what has changed in our spirit.
Romans 13:14 instructs us to “… put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.” Just as stars’ actions are influenced by what they wear, being clothed with Christ should affect how we walk and talk and act. Paul gets quite specific in Colossians and Ephesians where he tells us what our behavior should be like. In Colossians 3:14, Paul says: “… above all put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” The evidence of our having put on love for our fellow believers would include doing the following: using edifying words (Ephesians 4:29), forgiving each other just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32), having a heart of compassion and humility (Colossians 3:12), and performing the good works that we were created to do after being saved by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Human resource advisers recommend that job-seekers dress for success; that is, dress to be successful in their chosen career path. If believers desire to be successful or fruitful in living the Christian life, they might consider if the behavior of their outer man reflects the spiritual change in their inner man. Does the observable design represent the Designer?
Who are you wearing, and are you wearing Him well?
By Donna Walker