(The following was taken and adapted from an iBelieve video devotion.)
We’ve probably all gone to some event only to find ourselves completely under-dressed, or dressed inappropriately. I have, more than once, and when that happens, I usually want to leave as quickly as possible.
Years ago, my husband invited me to a charity function downtown, an area that hosts numerous events spring through early fall, from farmer’s markets to craft fairs. I assumed we were going to something similar, so I arrived in shorts, clunky sneakers, a t-shirt, and a ball-cap.
I stood on a busy street corner and looked around, wondering where the event and my husband could be. After a quick phone call, I learned he was waiting for me at a local restaurant. We’d gone there before, in casual clothes, so I didn’t think anything about my wardrobe or what others might be wearing. When I arrived, however, the hostess quickly escorted to their upstairs, elegantly decorated area—in my shorts, ball-cap, and sneakers.
I wanted to quietly duck out, but, unfortunately, my husband—and his boss and his boss’s wife, who looked quite beautiful, by the way, saw me and hurried to where I was, ushering me off to introduce me to others—none of whom wore comfy shorts and sneakers.
The hostess really should’ve warned me about my attire, before I climbed those stairs. I was clearly not dressed for the occasion.
This experience provided me with a comical image of the point the apostle Paul made in Ephesians chapter 4. In verses 23-24, he told the Christ-followers in Ephesus to “put off their old self,” their sinful behaviors and attitudes, “to be made new in the attitude of their minds; and to put on their new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
It’s like he was standing at the top of the stairs, shaking his head. “Nope. You can’t wear that here. Those are you old, ratty clothes. You should toss them out. Better yet, burn them. You belong to Christ now. You’re holy and beloved, radiant, a child of the King, and this is His party. Go find your gown and princess slippers.”
I need that reminder as well. I need to continually put off my ratty old self, which isn’t good for anything but the trash. And I need to put on my new, radiant and glorious self, my full-on princess garb.
Each day, I have to shuck off who I used to be. My old way of viewing the world, of responding to others, all of my sinful desires that seemed to flash so brightly in the moment but led to shame and destruction. And I need to put on my new self, the glorious robe of righteousness Christ gave me, so that I can be dressed, and behave, as His radiant and well-adorned daughter.