Scripture Reading — Romans 13:11-14
Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus ... and do not think about how to gratify the ... sinful nature. Romans 13:14 —
Self-help books are well known for this bit of advice: Dress for success. Do you want to have a dream career? Are you longing for fulfilling relationships? Well, experts say that one thing you can do is dress for success!
I knew of a college graduate who had several job interviews lined up. He would dry-clean his whole business suit before every interview. He wanted to look perfect in order to land his dream job. I don't know if the dry cleaning helped, but he got the job offer.
In today's Bible passage the apostle Paul tells us to clothe ourselves with Christ. Is this something as superficial as a "dress for success" mantra? Of course not! Paul is talking here about having Jesus work in our lives. With the help of the Holy Spirit we need to put aside our sinful actions and behave decently in every area of life. That means no drunkenness, no sexual immorality, no constant fighting with others, no jealousy.
Paul tells us to wrap ourselves with Christ's goodness. We need to show outwardly what has taken place inwardly. Christ's grace is compared to the versatile Middle Eastern robe that keeps you cool in the hot sun and warm during cold desert nights. That's what we need in our journey of faith. Christ is our best "attire" to protect us from temptations and to help us witness to others about God's love.
Our Father, cleanse our hearts from sin so that we may clothe ourselves with Christ's grace, love, and goodness. Help us to be your faithful followers and witnesses! Amen.