Brand New Clothes

I spent the weekend laughing, talking, eating, shopping, laughing, crying, more talking, more eating, and more laughing with three of my favorite people: my mom and two sisters. We had a lovely time celebrating K’s 50th birthday and I’ll probably write more on that later. But my search for the perfect ensemble is on my mind right now.

My niece’s wedding is coming up and I wanted a new outfit to wear. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the harder it is to pick out clothes. I used to be so confident. Now I’m never sure if something looks right or is too old or too young. So, while I had my sissy’s with me, I made them play Clinton & Stacy for me. After a series of try ons and errors, I’m happy to say I did find an outfit and it’s not black (a big thing for me since every dressy thing I own has vast amounts of black).

I came home and tried on my new digs for Brad and he loved it. A departure in style yet flattering, comfortable and I think classy, I’m thrilled and can’t wait to wear the outfit.

While reminiscing with my sisters this weekend, I thought about how throughout our lives we try things on like outfits. We try on personalities when we’re teenagers, we can try on people when we’re dating, we try on parenting styles, methods for running a household, careers, and even religions. I’m not saying we should do this, I’m saying most of us do try things on without even knowing it. It’s not always bad. It can help us sort out who we really are, where we belong and most importantly, to Whom we belong.

So this morning when I read this verse from Colossians 3 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” I couldn’t help but think of my shopping trip. It felt more comfortable to me to stick with a basic black sheath dress and then accessorize. But I knew I couldn’t do it. I needed color. I needed style. I needed something more reflective of who I am.

We settle so often in our lives for comfort. For a basic black sheath and some cheap costume jewelery.
We’ve tried on the world’s way for dealing with life and accepted it.

We settle for the convention of “nice” instead of the radical idea of “grace”.

We offer civility instead of true kindness to people.

We offer politeness instead of patience.

We give condescension instead of humility.

It’s so much easier that way. People don’t question us…our sanity or motives when we conform to the world’s standards of what’s decent behavior to our fellow humans. But when you love and live like Jesus did… when you realize how dearly loved you are and choose to live a reflection of that love…well, then, you can appear foolish, radical, and just simply too much. It’s easier to blend. To wear our black sheath dresses and fit in.

But that’s not the end to which we’re called and it’s also not reflective of who we truly are. If we belong to Christ, we’re a new creation. The old is gone. No more black sheath’s for us. We’re called to grace, mercy, kindness, compassion, justice and peace…reflecting Christ in us.

He has shown you, o man. And what does God require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~The Prophet Micah

4 Replies to “Brand New Clothes”

  1. Yesssss – I love this. 🙂 Learning to lose ourselves in Christ in order to find who He really wants us to be – to be real … it seems to be one of the great challenges of this road – but what liberty, as He teaches us not to be afraid of our calling! Thanks for writing this.

  2. I liked and enjoyed this piece very much, Patty.

    Just like what you discovered in changing your wardrobe for the wedding: Not only does it agree with you in all the best ways, and not only does it compliment you in ways you never quite dared to imagine, and not only does it surprise you that it 'works' better than you had imagined it might, but taking this little adventure and stepping into something new (while leaving the old behind) has given you a confidence you didn't know you had…

    …it so just like God to 'grow us' in those same ways when we put on the wardrobe he provides…

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