‘What to wear’ is a topical question. With increasing concern about exploitation of both people and planet, questions are rightly being asked about the true cost of cheap fashion, and at this time of year, questions are being raised again about the pressures resulting from school ‘proms’, both financial and personal.
What we wear is something we can have strong feelings about from a very early age.
50 years on, I still remember the discomfort of having to wear a bright pink jacket. As a ‘shrinking violet’ it made me feel uncomfortably conspicuous. What was worse, it was bought for me with ‘growing room’, so as a slow growing child it blighted me for a long time!
Truth is, my desire to be inconspicuous came from a deep-seated lack of confidence. Decades later, an intuitive nun gave me an anonymous poem called Life’s Lessons from a Butterfly:
Let go of the past
Trust the future
Come out of the cocoon
Unfurl your wings
Dare to get off the ground
Ride the breezes
Savour the flowers
Put on your brightest colours
Let your beauty show
Putting on our brightest colours has nothing to do with buying fast fashion, or being the belle of the ball. It is about becoming our true selves and living life to the full, rather than being constrained by self-doubt, fear, guilt, anger or self-pity.
There are many threads running through the Bible about clothing, and followers of Jesus are urged to clothe themselves in right attitudes. There’s a particularly eye-catching passage in the Bible, which the Message paraphrases:
…dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline… (Colossians 3:12)
That’s a wonderful wardrobe to wear, and as a believer, I trust God’s choices for me.
God knows how we measure up, and will not offer us, clothing that is ill-fitting, unsuitable, or inappropriate. So let’s step into what’s being held out to us…
Truth is… Regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:14)