Fully Dressed

I have never been much of a fashionista. Rarely will I swap comfort for style. Labels and name brands mean little to me unless my experience has confirmed that a particular brand is superior in fit and quality. I grew up on hand-me-downs, clearance aisles, rummage sales, Goodwill bargains, and made-by-mom originals. I was clothed, but not in designer threads or the latest and greatest.

When I was about 10 years old, my brother and I were invited to a movie on the big screen for the first time. It was a film about Annie, a spirited, ragamuffin orphan from New York City who was invited to live for a week with America’s richest billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Annie travels to Warbucks mansion and his staff lavishes her with love and adoration and a wardrobe full of new clothes. But while Annie is basking in the delight of a new way of life, the film cuts to a scene of her friends back at the orphanage, dressed in their drab duds, joyfully singing, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

I liked the sounds of that. The perfect accessory to any outfit. No matter what style or brand of clothing I was wearing, whether I was dressed like the rich kid or the pauper, I could always add a smile!

But the Bible tells us about another go-with-everything garment. In Colossians 3, Paul compares our new life in Christ to a new wardrobe. The Message paraphrase reads like this: 9-11 “Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it!”

LOVE! It’s your perfect all-purpose garment. It goes with everything! And no person, especially no follower of Christ, is every fully clothed without it.

Paul also tells us about some things that we need to get rid of. We don’t have room for a new wardrobe if the closet and dressers are still filled with the old.  1-2 “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.  3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.  5-9 And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire.”

Are you ready to make some changes to your wardrobe? Don’t delay. Christ’s designer attire is the perfect fit for you.

Erin Jacobsma


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