Points to Ponder: Being a Put-On?
Points to Ponder
Being a Put-On?
Our five-year-old Joanna already knows what she is and what she wants to be. "I'm an artist," she says. Just about every day, she's drawing a detailed picture, filled with smiling characters, maybe a tree or a dog or cat (also smiling), and a story line. She's in her own little world, telling the story out loud as she draws - even having the characters speaking to each other.
When Marcella picked out clothes for her to wear one day, Joanna rejected the selection. She said, "They're not calling me." That was a new twist, waiting for the right clothes for that day to call.
A few moments later, she found and put on the clothes she'd wanted. They even matched. If clothes are going to call and appoint themselves to your body, they should work out the proper combination among themselves. And apparently they had.
This is a fitting illustration for how one dresses spiritually. We must put off from our lives, conduct and character that which separates us from God and others.
"...put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lists...be renewed in the spirit of your mind and...put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).
"Putting on" the new man, the new person implies it doesn't come as standard equipment. There must be a conscious casting off the former ways in order to fit into the new clothing, which is calling you.
It intrigues me that Joanna can bring life and personality to all of her stuffed animals, her Pet Shop figures, the characters she draws on paper, and even the clothes she wears. The things we love in life do tend to call us. In their design, their feel, and in the meaning we associate with them, they help us engage with the world.
If you know the Lord and claim to be His own, your spiritual wardrobe is calling you.
"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:26-27).
From the neck up and from the heart out, there should be a complete make over going on. It's no wonder that the church is irrelevant in the minds of many who observe its members in the world. Being in Christ means:
"...that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 3:22-24).
Recently when I was dressing Joanna for the day, I got to watch this process of discernment. She looks in the clothing drawer, holds an item to her ear to listen. Is it calling? It's kind of cute - unless you're in a hurry. But I suppose that's a lesson all people of faith need to consider.
Are you consciously considering what you are putting on before you go out into the world? Does what you wear in attire as well as attitude reflect the person you claim to be in your heart?
"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:14).
Knowing Christ brings a whole new meaning to the concept of "dressing for success." What you convey on the outside reveals what is true about the inside.
(Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles (and sermons) are also found at www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com. Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am)