Saturday, October 27, 2012

What you wear makes a difference!

This past week, our school celebrated the hard work of our students with a special field day. Part of the day included a costume contest among the teachers...which explains the picture of me dressed as Batman. (Not the Dark Night version, but the classic "To the Batcave" Batman.) 

Of course, I had to make sure it fit, so the night before, I came into my living room dressed as Batman. My husband promptly started laughing! He said something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, but I just can't take you seriously dressed like that. You're not going to try and TEACH anything that day, are you?"

Well, of course not. I know better than to try something like that! This was a day just for fun, and right after the contest I had plans to change back into my jeans and field day t-shirt. I knew that even while we were "just having fun" the way I dressed was important if I wanted my students to listen to me when it was really important. 

Of course, all this started one of those Random Thoughts that finds its way into a blog. It started me thinking about the way I am supposed to dress as a Christian.

This isn't a blog about wearing modest clothing, although I believe in that. It isn't a blog about style or fashion either. Those who know me would probably laugh as hard as my husband did at the thought of me writing a blog about that. No, this is about something I believe every Christian should wear if they want to be taken seriously and have people listen to us when it really counts.

This wardrobe advice is  found in Colossians and even though it is hundreds of years old, it still is good fashion advice for today. 

Colossians 3:12-14 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.

There it is, my wardrobe for the day, every day. These are the things I should put on no matter what the activities if I want to be taken seriously.

Even I knew that as long as I was in costume when I stood before my students, they might watch me with interest and laughter and all sorts of other thoughts that might make them watch, but they wouldn't really listen or take me seriously. If I wanted them to listen to me and really pay attention, I was going to have choose a different wardrobe.

Have you ever seen non-Christians who "watch" and "listen" but can't really hear us because of what we are wearing? I know I am guilty of not walking around in compassion, kindness, humility, quiet (who me????) strength, and discipline. Maybe the reason the world can't take me seriously is because I'm "wearing" all the wrong things.

I could have said to me students, "I am the teacher and you must listen", but trust me it would not have worked! The only reason I was able to keep order at all is because they had seen the "real" me for over 9 weeks and they knew who I really was. They could deal momentarily with the crazy costume...but even I wasn't willing to try it for long. They needed to see my "regular" clothes to pay attention to me.

If I want those who do not know Christ to listen to me, it really does matter what I wear! I want to walk around in the clothing that God has provided so that those around me aren't distracted by some silly costume of my own creation, whether it be anger, impatience, pride, or un-forgiveness. 

Today as I reach into my closet, I can promise I WON'T be choosing that Batman costume (for one thing, it was really uncomfortable!) I realize that I must dress for my day ahead and what I choose really will affect my attitude and that of those around me. I must choose to put on the clothes God provided instead of my a costume that keeps the world from hearing what I truly have to say. I choose to dress for success - no matter what the day might hold. I know that the all purpose garment of love will be just the right for the occasion.

Romans 13:14

The Message (MSG)
11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

No comments: