Seated in church with my husband on one side and a dear friend on the other, I was feeling composed and put together. My mind wandered to why the front of my black, sleeveless turtleneck sweater was bunching up in a funny way. Next, I found myself scratching the collar around my throat. Then, digging around a bit with my fingers, it occurred to me as I grasped the garment tag, “Oh good grief, I’ve got my sweater on backward!” Well, let me tell you, any feelings of smugness contained within flew right out the window, as my husband rolled his eyes and my friend smothered a giggle.
As I leave my home in the morning, there is a certain confidence which comes from feeling nicely dressed and accessorized, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking too highly of oneself. The apostle Peter, encouraging the early church in connection with themes of Christian living, reminds us in 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV), “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.” Difficult words for today’s woman. Only through Jesus Christ am I properly clothed, as He covers my sin. Only He makes me whole, as my own efforts will always fall short.
His Holy Spirit fills me so I may find completeness and fullness in Him. I lack for nothing. Paul writes in Ephesians 3:19 (NIV), “and to know this love [Christ’s] that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Thankfully, God discerns my heart and knows me; He reads my innermost thoughts. To those around me, I desire to exhibit a submitted spirit rather than a poised shell of nothingness attired in finery.
Only Christ is perfect. Humble yourself, so we don’t become vain or full of self-importance. Above all, though, I’ve learned to keep a sense of humor as God does find unique ways to remind us of our lack and His sufficiency. I need to lay bare my weaknesses because perfection is a myth.
Shortly after the conclusion of our church service, I raced to the restroom to put my sweater on the proper way, thankful for God seeing me how I really am.
Father God, You behold me and know me—all my strengths and all my weaknesses. I’m grateful that through the sacrifice of Jesus I am more than adequate and have no need to present myself in a prideful or vain way. You clothe me in your finery and you are my entirety. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31:25 (NIV): “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Psalm 18:32 (NIV): “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
Colossians 2:10 (NIV): “and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
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