No one has ever accused me of being a fashionista. I’ve always preferred blue jeans over a three-piece suit; and, instead of wearing patent leather wingtips, I’d rather wear tennis shoes or boots.
This is why you might find it surprising that I took some interest in a fashion slide show: What People Were Wearing the Year You Were Born is geared more to women than it is to me, and it gives a visual history of what has been in style for the last 100 years.
While I do have my Sunday-go-to-meeting-clothes, I also have different sets of clothing that I wear depending on the occasion. Instead of being a fashionista, I guess I’m a functionalist. I don’t wear my Muck boots to church, but they’re sure handy when the snow is a foot deep and the temperatures are sub-zero.
When I read the bible, I think Paul was also a functionalist. Instead of being worried about the fashion and style of his day, he instructed his cohorts to dress for the occasion:
In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armor so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray (Ephesians 6 ~JB Phillips).
When he wrote to the Colossians, Paul spoke of functional clothing for the Christian life:
Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Colossians 3:12-13).
Before you leave your house today, you might want to look into the mirror to see if your clothing is fitting for your agenda:
The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, it is true, but he goes on with whatever he was doing without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror. But the man who looks into the perfect mirror of God’s law, the law of liberty (or freedom), and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness (James 1:22-25 ~JB Phillips)