Read His Words Before Ours!
I will never forget my favorite dress as a little girl. My mother’s best friend asked me to be the flower girl in her wedding, and the dress she chose for me was a deep royal blue. Looking back, I don’t really remember the wedding ceremony or what anyone else was wearing, but I remember every detail of that dress. It was delicate and lovely and perfect, and I felt so grown up in it. When I put it on, complete with tights and shiny shoes, I knew I looked beautiful.
I loved the swish of the skirt as I twirled.
The gentle rustle of material as I walked.
The way my eyes picked up the deep blue.
The way my dad would smile when he saw me prancing around in it.
When I was wearing that dress, I felt…different.
I was still the same me, but… More, somehow.
As a teenager, my default attire consisted of jeans, a simple tee and a sweatshirt when I wasn’t in costume for plays or musicals. Comfort was key, and I didn’t spend much time on dresses, skirts, or anything more than casual attire. I can’t remember a favorite anything from those years, honestly.
It’s probably expected that as a woman, my favorite dress would be my wedding gown, but strangely, that is not the case. I loved my wedding gown, and it is a gorgeous piece, but it is not the one that comes to mind. My favorite dress is simple, elegant, and black. It doesn’t bear a designer label and never bore a hefty price tag. It doesn’t reveal much skin and it isn’t skin-tight. (Well, it probably would be skin-tight on my currently 8 month pregnant body, but it didn’t use to be!)
I remember the first time I tried it on. My husband’s annual work gala was approaching, and I needed something more formal to wear. I was newly pregnant with our first, and the forgiving fit didn’t make me self-conscious about my growing bump. I loved the modest but classy flair, and I remember thinking that for the first time in my life, I looked content.
I have never considered myself an incredibly fashion-forward person, but this dress hit the mark. My husband loved it, and I remember feeling so happy that I had found that dress! We had recently recommitted our lives to Jesus and I had been feeling rather isolated as God led us out of some damaging relationships and situations. I was feeling rather nervous about the upcoming gala, but I felt confident in that dress. I haven’t worn it in a few years and babies, but it hangs in the back of my closet, zipped gently in a dry-cleaning bag to protect it from dust.
Ring any bells? I know we all have that one item tucked away for memory and hope’s sake.
It is no accident that as Paul describes what our new lives should look like in Colossians, he uses the imagery of clothing to reach our hearts. He could have used any number of other visuals, but the fact of the matter is that
what we choose to wear is a direct reflection of our heart condition.
As God’s chosen people, we have put on Christ. We should not resemble the world any longer. Instead, our demeanors should reflect our hearts:
Chosen. Holy. Beloved.
Compassionate. Kind. Humble.
Meek. Patient. Bearing together.
Forgiving. Loving. Peaceful. Thankful.
How often do we forget that our clothing choices, both physical and spiritual, are mirroring our Savior? Paul charges us to set our hearts and minds on the spiritual, and to put to death the ways of the flesh. This requires not only a choice, but action as well.
My own heart condition at different points in my life is apparent as I reflect on my favorite dresses or outfits. As a little girl, my innocence and naivety is obvious. As a teen, my rebellion and apathy reigned for many years as my heart was irreverent and disrespectful. That translated to my clothing choices…or rather the lack thereof. As a married woman, my hope and desire to make my husband proud while brimming with nerves and excitement over our first baby are clear to see.
As followers of Jesus, our heart conditions should make it obvious that we have put on Christ.
As we clothe ourselves in Him by staying in His Word and nourishing our relationship with Him, our hearts will grow more transparent and reflect Him more accurately. And as we begin to reflect Him better, our favorite “dresses” might become our spiritual clothes instead.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!