I’ve been duped. Tricked into thinking, “I am rich, powerful, independent; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing” not realizing that I am wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Revelations 3:17). Tricked into believing that I should clothe myself in success and acceptance and pride and money and fame and fortune and beauty. Tricked into thinking that without those things, I am nothing. Tricked into believing that I can pursue those things AND Jesus, tricked into thinking that they’re compatible.
The more I pull away from this consumeristic system, the more I realize that I’ve been trading God’s truth for a lie. Not all at once, just a little by little. The story of the Emperor’s New Clothes seems apropos in today’s culture. Media, peer pressure, new-agey “do whatever you want” philosophies have come like a thief in the night and convinced us to buy what they’re selling-
be sexy, be fun, be accepted, buy cheap, spend wildly, accrue crap, work long hours, chase success, eat junk, your time is your own, don’t care about anyone else, what’s in it for me, go wild, be selfish, don’t help, judge others, you’re better, smarter, faster, more beautiful, more successful, better qualified
As a result, we’re all strutting around naked, puffed up because we’re doing what everyone else is doing, pushing people away lest they tell us of our nakedness, unprotected from the arrows of temptation, blind to the consequences of our sin, disconnected from the Creator of Life. Naked. Lost. Pitiful. Alone.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3)
What if we were a Church that clothed ourselves as God asked us to? What if we were people who wore our hearts on our sleeves, hearts full of compassion, kindness, forgiveness, humility, gentleness, patience, grace, truth, justice, love? What if it prompted the World to see their nakedness and desire to be clothed as we are? What if it started with you and me?