The Right Attire
I remember praying before every band concert that I played in Jr. High. But I didn’t pray for a great performance.
You see, I prayed because my mom would dress me up in dress pants, polished black shoes, a crisp white button up shirt, and a black bow tie; she dressed me for the venue. Now, there was nothing wrong with this, I understood then that appropriate attire was required to play in the band, I was alright with that.
My prayer was that God would convince my mother to take me straight to the concert and then straight back home; I didn’t want anyone to see me dressed that way outside of the concert.
But of course, my mom would leave early so that we could stop at Kmart to buy film and then maybe stop at the drug store to pick up my aunt Gertie’s prescription. I’d have to go in with her and, for whatever reason, she would always run into someone she knew and stand there and talk for what seemed like an eternity.
She would talk and I would pray that no one would see me standing there dressed like that. And, of course, it always seemed like our entire class chose to go to Kmart or the drugstore right at that moment. I think we all know that awkward feeling of being dressed for a different venue.
For the Christian, the same often holds true. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:5, “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (NIV). The believer in Christ has received by faith the promise that because we have accepted the free gift of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus, we will, one day, live forever in His presence, in the light.
The problem we find is that in the meantime, we still live here and this world can be very dark and it insists upon keeping it that way. So, we struggle. Do we dress now for that expected day, or do we wait until it arrives so that in the meantime we don’t feel awkward where we are? Most believers have struggled with trying make sure their faith doesn’t get too much attention.
The early church also struggled with this, so Paul wrote, “since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thessalonians 5:8 NIV). Paul tells the Christian that there is attire that needs to be put on intentionally. This attire is very different from what we are used to wearing; and this attire, will attract attention.
“Put on faith and love as a breastplate,” he says. Our faith in God’s sovereignty, power, and His will for us can protect our hearts from corruption or fear. We must allow His love for us to overflow into love for our neighbor; that is, for our fellow man. This love also protects our heart and drives it to desire what is best for others and glorifies God. Faith in God’s promise and love for others will make us passionate about sharing the light in this world today.
Paul says to put on “the hope of salvation as a helmet.” When our hope is in God, it is in something real; and that reality protects our minds and our lives. Hope in Jesus is unlike any other hope. It has the power to transform us, it has the power to strengthen us, it has the power to give us courage, and it has the power to drive us to be different so that others might also see the light and be saved from the darkness. And that hope does not disappoint us (Romans 5:5).
When I would whine about having to go into public dressed in my concert clothes, my mom would say, “You look good, you shouldn’t be embarrassed.” Now that I think about it, I did look good!
The Christian should realize the same thing, that putting on faith, hope, and love will always be attractive; and for the right reason. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV).
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!