Have you noticed how a burden has been placed on how we dress? Whenever an opportunity arises, people often try to convince us that the Gospel should have “lighter burdens” and that the topic of dress should not have such emphasis.
The reality is that for every choice we make, there is always something to surrender, and surrendering is never easy. If you give up a sedentary lifestyle and decide to change your diet and exercise, you will surely face days of discouragement, struggle against laziness, encounter obstacles, but for the sake of the benefits these changes will bring, you focus, and day after day somehow things get easier. Change can be painful at first. We are born prone to bad habits, to wrong choices, so doing good and having a positive attitude will always require effort.
It’s no different in our Christian journey. Renouncing the world and all its attractions and devoting oneself to a modest life requires self-denial. Overcoming our selfish tendencies and embracing a cause, a principle, requires some effort. It may even be easier for some but it is nonetheless a process of renunciation.
When we understand the importance of dressing to God’s glory and the positive impact it can have on our lives and the lives of those around us, when we understand why God cares about how we present ourselves, the perfect plan behind something apparently so small and insignificant, when we accept our mission of being wordless sermons, living examples, and conductors of light, we will see how doing God’s will is a light enough burden to carry.
God does not promise a path without a cross. He only shows how it is possible to carry our cross with joy when we let Him share it. When we are tired, discouraged by our “friends”, our family, our church, the media who impose so many rules on what to wear, He says to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).
“[…] all are weary and heavy-laden. All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us.”DA 328.5
Whatever your difficulty may be, open your heart to God, talk to Him and surrender all that is difficult to carry. If you are tempted to give up your first love and the commitment you made before God and man when you were baptized, if you have been tempted to give an ear to those who consider what we wear unimportant, remember that God seeks an outward transformation. God’s love should also be externalized. From the moment the real and the true changes are wrought within you you will be ready to lay down your own robes and dress in the robes of Christ, different, beautiful, modest, devoid of vanity, having the single purpose of glorifying God and drawing attention to Him.
Another year begins, and with it, new goals are set. In the midst of so many things to improve and develop, I invite you to renew your commitment to modesty…the commitment that we made some time ago and for some reason left behind. Our life with Christ needs to be renewed. Beauty in the simplicity of dress needs to be restored. Leave the old self behind, forget the old year with its mistakes and insecurities. Walk as did Christ and submit to the Father in love as He did.
Jesus emptied Himself of self, and submitted everything He did to His Father’s will. When His mission on earth was completed, He could say, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do,” John 17:4. He asks us, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,” Matthew 11:29. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves,” Matthew 16:24. May self be dethroned and never again possess supremacy of the soul.
Happy new life to each of us ❣️