"And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy." Romans 13:11-13
While working as a bridal consultant, I noticed a pattern. There was this moment when a bride would try on a wedding dress and look in the mirror and say, "this feels like me."
I would always ask a few key questions, leading up to asking if she was saying "yes to the dress."
Do you feel beautiful?
Do you feel like a bride?
Do you feel like comfortable?
After getting a yes to each of these questions, I'd know it was her wedding dress. But the interesting statement that almost always was added by the bride-to-be was, "this feels like me."
Maybe you haven't picked out a wedding dress, but have you noticed how you choose to wear things that feel like you?
What you wear says a lot about you. My creative friends in Nashville look pretty different from my husband heading to the office to meet with a prospective client.
What we put on tells the world a story about who we are and what we represent.
That's why you might have a jersey in your closet for your favorite sports team, or maybe you own something to represent a cause you support.
You might be familiar with the passage from Romans that commands us to put aside our sinful tendencies, and to put on the armor of light.
The thing that has been hitting my sprit in a different way recently, is not the first part of this twofold command, but the second. First, we put stuff aside. We say "no" to anything and everything that isn't God's best for us. We turn from sin, from harmful relationships, from things that don't honor God. You know this, I know this, it's essential to being a follower of Jesus.
But what about the second part?
Maybe you've done the work of emptying your life of the dark stuff. You don't watch that show on Netflix. You walk away when the conversation turns into gossip. You have carefully put aside those things in your life that don't honor God.
So, what are you putting on instead? What are you wearing? Who are you representing?
We have to cut out the stuff that doesn't honor God, and then, we have to put on what does. It's not enough to just turn away from the things that don't honor God, we have to actively pursue the things that do. We should eagerly look for opportunities and moments where God invites us to be a part of something He's doing.
You have to put on the things that God represents, the fruits of the Spirit, and when you do, you show the world what you're all about. You share a message of hope and love and grace and forgiveness by what you choose to put on.
And the more you do this, the more "wearing" these things starts to change you. You choose to wear grace when you decide to extend forgiveness to someone who has wronged you. You choose to wear peace when you don't repost the divisive Instagram or Facebook post. You choose to wear love when you put someone else's needs above yours.
Your identity is impacted by what you choose to put on today.
When you put it on and look in the mirror you should say to yourself, "this feels like me." Because what you're wearing is the Spirit of God, and every time you put Him on, you become more like Him.
-How have you seen someone representing Christ recently? What characteristics did you notice or see in them?
-What are some things God says about who you are in Him?
-How can you be more intentional to pursue what honors God in your life?
Reach out to someone who you have recently seen representing Christ in your life. Tell them how you saw Jesus in them!
Lord thank you for the identity you have given us through your Son. Help us to continually become more like you, and to reflect your image to the world so that you can be glorified. Amen.