Saturday, March 3, 2018

Clothed with Christ - Martin Wiles

And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. Galatians 3:27 NLT
My shirt spoke volumes without ever saying a word.
I had been called to pastor a small-town church. I was excited—and so was everyone else. What better way to show my pride and for the members to show their pride over belonging to that particular church than to order t-shirts with the church name, along with a logo or Bible verse? So we did.
When we went on mission trips, we wore our shirts. Church outings? We wore our shirts. Around town? We wore our shirts. And sometimes when we went out on the town for a night, we’d all decide to wear our shirts. Then it hit me. Our shirts were speaking words without ever saying any, and I was caught in the middle.
If I hit my finger with a hammer, I had to watch what I said. If I was in the retail store with a buggy full of items and there was only one register open, I had to monitor my words and actions. If the waiter or waitress acted as if they could care less that I was patronizing their place of employment, I had to watch how I responded. If someone I was out with told an off-color joke, should I laugh?
Whether to wear the shirts or not became a joke between my wife and I and a couple we often went out with. If we wore our shirts, we had to be on our best behavior. If we didn’t, no one would know we were Christians—unless we gave it away in some other way.
Wrong assumption. Paul says I was clothed with Christ the moment I chose to become His follower. I don’t have to wear a shirt; I wear Him. He speaks more words than a shirt ever could. And He speaks them through my actions, words, and attitudes.
I don’t have to advertise myself as Christian by clothing or jewelry—although there’s nothing wrong with Christian symbols. When I exercise love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control, people assume there is something different about me. All are traits they’re probably not accustomed to seeing—at least not on a regular basis. If I show the opposite of those traits, they assume I’m just a regular guy.
Remember who you are clothed with. Let Christ speak loudly every day through your lifestyle.

Prayer: Father, may we show others our identity through our words, actions, and attitudes. 

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