I have a confession to make: my daughter dressed me this morning.
Bethany is twenty-seven and we call her the family fashionista. A few months ago she decided that my wardrobe needed updating. Reading between the lines, what she meant to say was, “Mom, you’re starting to dress like a grandma.” And my husband agreed!
The good news was that he sent us both to the mall with instructions to bring back a new look.
Bethany swept through the department store in a whirl, feverishly throwing jeans, shirts, and belts into my arms. When the pile got heavy, I was ordered to go try them on.
She put the pieces together into outfits and insisted on seeing me in each one. She gave the thumbs’ up or thumbs down on purchases. There was no appeal to be made. Her word was law and I had little say in the matter.
It all felt a bit uncomfortable. She put me in things that I would not have chosen.
Me, in skinny jeans? Anyone looking at me knows that’s an oxymoron!
Boots? I had never before spent that much on a pair of shoes in my life!
And isn’t that gauzy top the exact same one I wore in high school?
The day ended in a blur of shopping, but we arrived home with several new items.
I might not have picked these things out; I might even have argued with Bethany about buying them. And while it has taken time to get used to them, they are much more comfortable than I had imagined. You know what? I have grown to love my new clothes! I feel younger in them, more energetic. They feel like me, only better.
Those of us who love Jesus have also been given new clothes to wear, clothes He picked out specifically for us.
The basic piece is to be put on first. Jesus “…clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)
He then recommends that we add some other attractive pieces, asking us “to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
The ensemble is completed with gorgeous accessories; “…a crown of beauty…the oil of gladness…and a garment of praise...” (Isaiah 61:3)
They all sound so lovely. And put together, they make a breathtaking ensemble.
Jesus tells me they are clothes He has picked out, and I don’t even have to pay for them! He bought them for me with His own sacrifice on the cross. They are offered free of charge.
Unlike Bethany, Jesus does give me the choice as to wear them or not. He allows me to accept the garment of salvation, to choose to put on those character qualities that are beautiful to Him, and to wear gladness and praise.
The clothes Jesus picks aren’t always easy for me to wear. It’s definitely a new look. Sometimes they feel like they don’t fit, and I have to struggle to put them on. But Jesus gently encourages me that He will help me. Over time, I grow to love them. And to love better the One who designed them. I’m still me, but different. Because just maybe, I am starting to look a little like Him.
And the most beautiful clothes of all will come when we meet Jesus face-to-face. On that glorious day “the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’” (1 Corinthians 15:53-54)
Now that’s a wardrobe worth owning!
- Reread Colossians 3:12. Which of these items of “clothing” are hardest for you to put on? Why?
- Take a few minutes to reflect on the cost Jesus paid to provide you with these “new clothes”. Write Him a prayer of gratitude.
Jesus, thank You for the high price You paid to clothe me. You bought me the garment of salvation with Your own precious blood. Please help me wear the robe of righteousness, and to put on those qualities of compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience that are beautiful in Your eyes. Help me look a little more like You.