The clothing we wear can say a lot about who we are, even if we are not trying to send a particular message. For example, if you are a person that is always wearing the latest fashion tells everyone around you that you enjoy fashion. If you tend to wear business clothing, the people around you will know that you have an office job of some sort. If you tend not to care what you are putting on, you just want to be comfortable, that also sends a message about your casual personality. There are a couple of references in the Bible that there are spiritual clothes that we wear that also send messages to the world. The clothing we wear is new clothing when we believe in the salvation we receive through Christ. Please read Colossians 3:12-15 to see what clothing we are to put on.
These verses remind me of when I went to Zambia and our team was on our way to church. As we were getting into the van, our translator said to the team leader, "The church is expecting a message from you." So, he began preparing a message. Halfway to the church the translator turned around and said, "They are also expecting the team to sing." So, we quickly came up with a song and practiced it in the van. By this point, we were about 10 or 15 minutes away from the church and the translator turned around and said, "They are also expecting a children's message." We found Colossians 3:14 and decided to teach about love. The children didn't speak English, so our entire message was translated for us. At one point, I taught about how God wanted us to put on love every day just like we put on our clothes and I asked them to pretend to put on a shirt while saying, "Put on love." It was so cute because the translator had them say it in both English and their tribal language of Tunga. It seems like a simplistic message, but when you think about it, just as we have to be intentional about getting dressed each day and what message we are sending in what we wear; we also need to be intentional about putting on love, mercy, tenderheartedness, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
This love that we put on is something that effects the entire body of Christ (which is the church). The word that is translated as binds in verse 14 is a word that loses part of its meaning in translation. The Greek word is syndesmos, which means the ligaments that hold the body together. This love is crucial for the church to work together because it allows us to forgive on another and have peace with each other. We need to be working in love and peace in order to be effective. When we clothe ourselves with all these attributes, we also send a message to the world that God is working in us, because we are no longer reacting to each other in our humanness; instead we are responding to each other out of love and humility. The world will notice the difference. So, let us begin clothing ourselves with the clothing that God has chosen for us to wear because we are His children!
What are you wearing today?
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.