Devotional: ‘Dress Appropriately’

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Many years ago, when I was just barely out of my teens, I still had some rebellious nature within me. While everyone else where I worked dressed nicely, I felt that I had to demonstrate my independence by wearing T-shirts and jeans. There’s nothing wrong with that look in the right situation, but it wasn’t appropriate for working in an office.

One day a fellow employee kindly suggested that I might consider dressing up a bit. At first I was pretty resistant, but then they said that it might even help me get a raise. So I decided to take their advice and give it a try. The first time I came in wearing a tie the company declared a national holiday. Not really, but it was quite a shock to everyone Then things began to happen. People started treating me differently. Engineers began to include me in their discussions; my supervisor gave me more responsibility; and eventually I did get that raise.

Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote about the appropriate dress of a Christian.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 1 0and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator… 

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

Anger, slander and foolish talk are as much out of place for a Christian as were my T-shirts and jeans. Instead, as followers of Jesus Christ, we should be clothed with kindness, compassion, and humility.

How can we clothe ourselves with these virtues? These and many other qualities are a part of the nature of Christ that is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. We read from the book of Galatians – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” [1] 

Changing my wardrobe as an employee opened doors for me that might otherwise have remained closed. The same can be true for us as Christians. Being clothed with Christian virtues might open doors for us to share with others the love of Christ.

[1] Galatians 5:22-23

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