When I was 14 years old, I was certain that if I had a pair of Bugle Boy jeans I would get that call from a mysterious lady asking, “Excuse me; are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?”
O.K., maybe that’s a stretch, but I had no doubt that if I could get my hands on a pair my status in Jr. High would drastically change. It certainly couldn’t hurt. I needed something to prove that I wasn’t just another dork in the halls. Fashion had the potential to make or break a person in Jr. High. It still has a great power in every aspect of our lives.
There is something about fashion that we might consider: its nature is to serve us. What we wear we typically wear for ourselves. Work clothes are designed to protect the wearer; athletic clothing is designed to help the athlete, and fashionable clothing is worn so that others will notice the wearer and think more highly of that person. This is not to say that, for the sake of humility, we should all wear drab; even that makes a statement about us. The point is that the clothing we wear is typically for our own sake.
The apostle Paul writes a bit about what the Christians should wear. He says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:12-13 NIV). There something about Paul’s sense of fashion we might consider: all of the things he lists are not for the wearer, but for the sake of others.
We are to put on compassion, which encourages others in times of despair. We are to put on kindness, which brings a bit of light into the lives of others. We are to put on humility, which seeks to serve others rather than ourselves. We are to put on gentleness, which carefully reaches out to others, not to injure, but to connect. We need to put on patience, the commitment to a long term investment in other people. And we are to forgive, which can prevent division and promote healing between people. These clothes must all be intentionally “put on” by every Christian, not for their own sake, but for the sake of community—a global community.
Finally, Paul says, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14 NIV). We are to intentionally put on love. Checking ourselves regularly throughout the day to ensure that we are still wearing love. And this is not some knock-off brand of love. Paul clearly states that the brand must be agapē love, which is the love that comes only from God. Nothing less will hold together these garments; and if we refuse to put on love or try to use some knock off brand, we will find ourselves losing our clothes—or at least fighting to keep them on. Spiritually naked Christians are a scary sight for anyone!
I’ve never been very fashionable. Even today I check with my wife to make sure my clothes match. (More guys should probably do that.) How we dress does matter; being fashionable is important to being sociable. God has made us to be that way; to be a social people. However, it is so much more important that we put on the clothes that Paul has told us we need to wear. To put on the attire that is designed, not for our sake, but for the sake of others. Holiness matters!
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9AM for Sunday school and 10AM for worship. Everyone is welcome!