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October’s Article

What are you Wearing?

There have been many difficult tasks I have succeeded at in life. Learning an ancient language? No problem. Passing Calculus? Piece of cake. Explaining complicated Biblical truths to pre-teens? I can do it in my sleep. However, there is one task that defies my abilities, strains my nerves and drains my energy: reasoning with a four-year-old.
There I was in the wee hours of the morning sitting in my daughter’s bedroom. My older two girls were abuzz with excitement because it was the first casual day of the year, which meant no school uniforms. Savannah, however, did not appreciate the freedom to choose what to wear. No, she liked the school uniform. She saw it as a badge of honor to show that she was a “big girl” and could go to school. I picked out a favorite dress of hers to wear. She shook her head. I displayed one that Grandparents had bought for her. Still she refused. I tried to let her choose from other items in her closet. Nope, not gonna happen. I tried telling her all her uniforms were in the laundry. She didn’t care. She would rather wear dirty clothes than the dress I had chosen for her. There were tears. There were hurt feelings, but eventually I got my way.
Later, as I reflected on the frustrations of the morning, I couldn’t help but realize that God must feel the same way towards us at times. There are sins in our life that we don’t want to give up. In fact, they have been there so long that we have grown comfortable with them. I have even seen some try to wear their sins as a “badge of honor” by misapplying Romans 7 when Paul writes, “the good that I want to do I can’t, and the bad I don’t want to do, I find myself doing.” “If Paul couldn’t defeat sin,” they reason, “how can I be expected to defeat it?” The simple answer is you can’t. That was the point Paul was making. By himself, he could not overcome the sinful habits in his life. Elsewhere, however, Paul shows us that we can. In Philippians 4:13 he reveals, “I can do all things through [Christ] who gives me strength.” What an incredible promise! Sadly, we too often fail to practice the truth of this scripture. Like my daughter, we would rather wear the dirty clothes of sin than the garments of righteousness our Father has chosen for us.
In Galatians 3:27 we read that all who have been “baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ.” Later, in Revelation 19:8, John records that the fine linen that makes up the wedding gown that the bride of Christ will wear is composed of the “righteous acts of the saints.” We have been given new clothes and a new identity. Let’s use that freedom in Christ to convey hope to a world that desperately needs to see it. After all, as the saying goes, “the clothes make the man.”

Until next time,
Dave

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