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You’ve heard it said that “clothes make the man.” If that is true then I am an unmade man. Fashion and I have never been friends although there have been times when I tried to warm up to it. In the past, I have enjoyed the feel of new and well made clothing, but I rarely had anything that was very expensive, at least by worldly standards. Whatever attempt I made to be fashionable, I simply could not sustain any momentum. The rule of my childhood was to look my best with what I had and if my clothing was poor, that did not excuse me to live shabbily, my clothes dirty or wrinkled.
For me, its not much of a concern anymore. Besides the fact that I am getting older and my eyesight is fading, I am an Orthodox priest. My ensemble is either black or grey. This saves a lot of time and money, and the decision making process is quite simple. Of course, I don’t wear my cassock all the time, but my other clothes are far from GQ.
I do believe that Christians shouldn’t be bothered with the fashions of the world. This doesn’t mean that we have to live in sackcloth or go about barefooted, but we shouldn’t be dominated by the rules of fashion of this present age. However, we should be sharply dressed, and St. Paul is our best consultant. He has a wardrobe picked out for you and if you put it on, you will stand out from all the rest.
Put on tender mercy and kindness. Since we will know mercy in the same manner that we have shown it, we should show mercy with tenderness. Kindness is a beautiful garment for a heart to wear. A kind person commits random acts of kindness, without some hidden plan or agenda. It is just who they are and it is just what they do.
Put on humility and meekness. These are most unusual garments in these proud and boastful days. If it is true that the meek will inherit the earth, then there are very few who will inherit anything .
Put on long-suffering. No one has any patience anymore. We run at the first sign of trouble, or we don’t hang in for very long. A person who wears long-suffering is a rare soul indeed.
There is one article that binds all the pieces together and makes you a sharp dressed man or woman.
Put on love which is the bond of perfection. Love is like a belt and without it, all the other pieces fall away. This shouldn’t surprise us since it is love that makes us merciful and kind; it is love that slays our ego so that we might have humility and meekness; it is love that helps us to keep on going even when the way before us is uncertain.
These garments- tenderness, mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and love- make you look just like Jesus. This is a most unusual style and you won’t find it on the clothing runways of Paris.
Yes, Christians should be sharply dressed. Sadly I think I look pretty good when in fact, I dress in dirty rags.
My mother would be ashamed of me.
Colossians 3.12−14 KJV
Fr. John Moses