“As the index tells us the contents of stories. . .even so does the outward habit and […] garments (in man or woman) give us a taste of the spirit, and demonstratively point. . .all the internal quality of the soul; ”– Philip Massinger, English dramatist.
Whenever I read verses 13 and 14 of Psalm 139 I think, “God is a God of details.” In these passages, the psalmist records his gratitude that he was created in such an extraordinary way and with such thought out detail that scholars are still unraveling the mysteries of God’s most perfect creation.
That same God who gave us life has thought of everything to make our days lighter and happier. He advises us in His word and has given us His own example. He walked in the world but was not of the world. He lived with different types of people but was not influenced by them. On the contrary, He was an example in everything. Like Him, we have a mission to be an example to the world so that everyone can see Christ through our lives, through our speech, acts, thoughts, and even in the way we dress.
But if dress alone does not save anyone, why does such a simple detail matter so much? Our clothing is like a uniform, important for identification. God always made sure that His children were easily distinguished in every age. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue” (Numbers 15:38), to distinguish them from the surrounding nations and signify that they were the peculiar people of God.
During the Israelite’s time, unlike today, the varieties in clothes were few. Today we no longer need to have a distinctive “sign,” but just as ancient Israel we need to glorify God through our dress, which must be distinct as a whole. When looking at us, no one should have any doubt as to whether or not we serve God. There are only two options. Either our clothing speaks for Christ and His truth or for the world. Which of these have we chosen? Have you been more like God’s ideals for His people or more mixed in with the crowd for fear of going against the current?
Our clothing must fulfill two purposes. To show the world that we are Christians, a separate, God-fearing people, and at the same time remind us that as Christians we must act as such, clearing our minds and hearts, and becoming more Christlike every day.
The God who created you cares about every detail pertaining to you. And what He asks of us as His children is that we only give Him our heart, because a heart where Christ is welcome to make a home is a heart willing to obey, transform old habits, and evolve. Nothing seems hard when done out of love. So my advice to you is: love Jesus. When we love Him with all our hearts, renouncing the world and its customs will become a pleasure and not an obligation. For this is the love of God: obeying His commandments. And His commandments are not heavy (1 John 5: 3).