Q: Ken, thanks for joining us today. The big question our readers want to know: What are you wearing today?
A: Well, some levi’s, a blue t-shirt from Old Navy, a light blue, long-sleeve button-down shirt with dark gray and white patterning, a pair of boxer briefs, a pair of white socks, and some ratty brown bowling shoes. Oh… and some (pulls off glasses and looks at them) generic black-rimmed glasses. Not too stylish… but not too nasty either.
Q: What do your clothes say about you?
A: I guess they say I’m a casual person, but not lazy. Perhaps a bit too aware of what I look like, but not overly concerned that I look fresh and snappy. I’m a presentable but not polished person, I suppose.
Q: What do your clothes mean to you… you know, in a metaphorical sense?
A: Ah, I would have to say that my clothes should reflect who I am on the inside. In many cases, it’s not healthy for a person to continually dress up in a way that goes against their character. In a redemptive worldview, clothes are not so much a covering up of bad things as they are to be a reflection of who you are in the Creator’s eyes. I suppose if you are still stuck in unredemption, I’d rather see you dressed up nicely… but it doesn’t really matter… because eventually your sick heart will be exposed. So my clothes are a chance for me to not pretend, to not hide, to not project a false image. My clothes are an opportunity for me to communicate who I am without words. They are an extension of what exists in the inside of me.
Q: I’m not sure I’m following you.
A: Okay, it’s like Paul said in Colossians chapter 3. Since God
loves you, you should clothe yourselves in all these things that
reflect God’s love. I think Paul says that we should wear on the
outside of us things that God is making real on the inside of us. So
for instance, as God creates kindness in our souls, kindness is worn on
our outer self. As humility is molded within us, humility becomes
evident outwardly to others. When people look at us, they should see
what God is doing within us.
Q: So you’re saying that my shirt represents something that God is doing on the inside of me?
A: Sure. Or something that God isn’t doing for one reason or
another. What I’m saying is that our inside is supposed to be
reflected on the outside… and our inside is supposed to reflect
Q: What "clothes" should you wear if you don’t reflect Jesus?
A: Well, like I said, I personally would like someone who is
"wicked" to still wear nice clothes, you know. I don’t want to see the
wickedness of someone’s heart. But the Bible is really interesting in
this regard. The Bible has no room for people to pretend. If someone
is wicked in their heart, then the Bible says they truly will be
wearing lies, lust, impurity, shame, anger, malice, jealousy, etc. The
desires of someone’s heart eventually come out in what they "wear".
The Bible is about authentic living… and doesn’t ask anyone ever to
cover up. The Bible tells us to strip off the stuff we shouldn’t be
wearing… including hypocritic nice Sunday clothes. Adam and Eve
didn’t do right when they grabbed fig leaves. We’ve been covering up
our bad selves ever since. God comes to us and asks us to come out of
hiding, admit our nakedness, and be redeemed by his kindness,
gentleness, mercy, patience… and especially love. As we expose
ourselves to God and let God recreate us from within… then these
qualities of God become the clothing that we wear.
Q: Okay, so I think I see what you’re saying. It’s like we
have this shirt… and this shirt is all dirty… and we should ask God
to wash it… or even give us a new shirt?
A: Yeah, sort of. You take off that nasty shirt and in it’s
place you clothe yourself with a brand-new nature that is continually
being renewed as you learn more and more about Jesus, who created this
new nature within you. Christ on our inside and outside is all that
matters. He lives in us… and he is to live out of us too.