I have been giving a lot of thought this week to Galatians 3:27. The more contemporary Bible translations compare our being united with Christ to putting on new clothes. The Message paraphrase calls it a “faith wardrobe.” It reminds me once again that the degree to which I receive things from Jesus, like an unchanging identity, is largely up to me.
Most every morning, I stand in the small walk-in closet I share with my husband and make decisions about what clothes I will wear. Will it be a skirt and sandals today? Will it be capris and ballet flats? What do I feel like? How do I want my clothes to express what’s going on inside me? I have a near infinity of clothing combination choices.
I also have many options for how I will define myself. I can use my clothing, my words, my actions, and my resources to create any image I decide to. Or I can choose to claim identity in Christ and nothing else.
When this is what I “wear” – the love and grace of Jesus Christ – it simplifies a great many things. I more often make decisions based on what I know and not only on what I feel. I am less easily offended and offer forgiveness more quickly. I stand with more boldness because I remember that strength comes not from what I can do but what Jesus can do through me. I can choose to “wear” Jesus as my identity.
I love wearing black. I have many combinations of black, white, and gray in my closet because for me, it somehow always works. When I don’t know what to wear, or when I’m feeling a bit nervous about what I have to do that day, I will often reach for a casual black dress (of which I have several) and pair it with some favorite accessories. Instantly I feel like my outside appearance is both comfortable and confident.
Do we reach for Jesus the way I reach for my black dresses? Is He want we most want to “wear”? Do we allow His heart to be seen by the world through us because that’s Who we love, Who we serve, and Who we depend on for our identity and definition? It can be. We need only to clothe ourselves in Him.