“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10
I recently had the opportunity to hear an awesome woman of God deliver a timely message about crucifying the flesh. She mentioned that on one particular Sunday she had worn an outfit that received many compliments. After thinking about all of the attention she had received for the outfit, she made a decision not to wear the outfit again – it had brought too much attention to her. Her objective was that others would see Christ and not focus on her and what she was wearing.
I questioned my own motives in choosing clothing and I have to admit, I like being complimented on my clothing choices. It is not something I strive for, because I choose clothes that I like and believe I look good in, but I don’t mind receiving a compliment or two….don’t we all? I thought about her humbleness and her sincere desire to be adorned with the glory of God and it moved me to a deep dialogue within myself. Did it mean that she felt that we shouldn’t be complimented or that we shouldn’t try to look good? Absolutely not! But her quest was deeper than that. She must have noticed that that particular outfit got way more attention than she was comfortable with and that bothered her enough to retire it.
Do we desire to be adorned with the glory of God so much so that if there is anything in our lives that compete with that process, we are willing to give it up -be it not just clothing – but attitude, people, money, jobs, things?
I want to be clothed with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness. I want God’s glory to cover me so much so that others are not preoccupied with what I wear or what I have. I don’t want to steal attention from God or bask in glory that doesn’t belong to me. In order to truly die to our self – our desires, our will and our emotions – we have to crucify little by little those secret pleasures we get from the compliments and accolades of others and everything that stands in the way of Christ being glorified in our lives.
Will I be appreciative when someone compliments me on something I have on or something I’ve done? Yes. Will it make me feel good that others think I look good or have done something worthy of recognition? Yes. Will I retire anything that stands in the way of God getting glory? I don’t know…..but I recognize that it is a process and I’m pressing toward that mark! How about you?