“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17
I confess I made my beloved Mom’s life a nightmare when she graciously and generously took me clothing shopping as a teen. I was spoiled, selfish, and undeniably self-consumed. I wanted what I wanted, I picked the clothes that pleased me, I expected my sweet Mom to hang up everything in the fitting room I didn’t want, and if she dared to recommend a particular outfit, I automatically said no – in an unloving, dishonoring way. I didn’t know the Lord back then, and I knew nothing about loving and honoring my dear Mom as I most assuredly should have. My Mom, loving and patient despite my sin, for which I have since repented before God and asked her forgiveness, every time we shopped made her usual clothing recommendations anyway.
“This is what’s in fashion now,” she would essentially say time and again. She would patiently share with me what fashions were in during a particular season – and which out. Decades later, we had a wonderful time when I gave her a gift card and took her shopping and she insisted I hang the clothes back up for her in the fitting room and patiently walk around the store as she chose what she liked. We laughed and enjoyed each other’s company profusely.
But this isn’t about my Mom and me. It’s about all of us. And it’s not about clothing and what today’s culture deems fashionable. It’s about the fact God has a plan for our everyday wardrobe, for what we put on each day, and what He tells us to wear according to His Word has NOTHING to do with what everyone else in the world is doing, with what in our culture is considered “in fashion” or not.
The scriptures above make clear the Lord wants His followers both in our hearts and in our lives, in our thoughts and minds, in our decisions, our words and actions, to pull from our spiritual “wardrobe,” to put on, to dress in, His ways, His righteousness, in that which reflects Christ, in that which shows we are His children.
The world around us is NOT our model for how He desires we dress. Christ is. God’s Word is. We DON’T go shopping in today’s culture to buy our wardrobe. We find everything He wants us to put on each day in the Lord. In His Word. Instead of looking like the rest of the world, the world should be able to look at us and see reflected in our wardrobe the Lord Jesus Christ.
NO MATTER WHAT the rest of the world is doing, no matter what is considered “in fashion” in the current times, God commands His followers to dress each day with tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, peace, thanksgiving, His wisdom, grace, and, most of all, His love. These verses are just a tiny piece of the whole of God’s Word which from start to finish shows us how God commands us to live – and dress each day. With the Lord as our model. Looking to Him and His Word as our example. Not to the world. To Him.
In the clothing fashion world, our culture teaches we should dress in fashion to reflect the world. When we follow Christ, we should reflect Him.