Smiles aside, our culture’s move toward clothing for pets (such as Halloween costumes for Fifi and Fido, usually on 90% off clearance by January) lands in my “that’s incredible” file. I’ll admit that our ancient cat (now 17 or 18 years old—he was a rescue cat) in earlier years suffered the indignity of being garbed with Cabbage Patch doll clothes. Alas, he was so portly that they were a poor fit, and as soon as he could, he escaped from his modeling career to the great outdoors where he could freely wear his one-and-only fur coat.
Do clothes make the person? The fashion world would have us believe that. But another type of clothing--the inside-type--does communicate a lot about us to people around us.
The apostle Paul wrote that God’s chosen people—“holy and dearly loved”—should have these clothing choices: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and the ability to bear with others and forgive each other. Finally, like a coat over all, “put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).
Peter had a similar clothes shopping list: “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5, part of it quoting Proverbs 3:34).
Paul wrote the Romans, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). Simple and basic. But how profound!
Did you catch something about the “clothes” mentioned in those passages? They’re about heart-conditions that undergo the wear-and-tear of relationships. How the world sees “Christian-dress” has a lot to do with how we treat people. No Christian-wear is flimsy. It needs to stand up to a lot of people-and-trials-wear-and-tear. But remember: the label says, “Inspected by John 3:16.”