What to Wear: Dress for Success According to Whom?
Knowing what to wear can be challenging and costly, to say the least. This is not only true in our culture of fashion and peer pressure, but no matter where we travel in the world, what line of work we do, and who we are with, what we wear matters. If we want to fit in, feel good about ourselves or be successful, we often consider how we are going to dress. To complicate the decision of what we wear, styles are constantly changing, we are influenced by the area we live in and possibly the convictions of those we are with.
Sometimes, there can be an expectation for us to match the colors, theme or style being featured at an event we are attending, a place we are visiting, or where we work.You know what that means…a careful perusal of your closet for any appropriate clothing and jewelry pieces that might work, followed by a shopping spree to complete the outfit or outfits needed. Then we might factor in the trending color charts, body shape analysis, and the seasonal décor to help us make a decision. In spite of all the possibilities, sometimes we just decide to wear what is most comfortable and we are satisfied to relax and be ourselves.
However, as much as fashion and approval are a motivation for selecting what to wear, there should be an even greater spiritual yearning within all of us to “put on” what is pleasing and acceptable to God. As we prepare for our day, if we “put on” the mind of Christ, things may turn out completely different and we will leave a spiritual impact on those we are with. “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT). In the Amplified version it says, “But, we have the mind of Christ (to be guided by His thoughts and purposes).”
Isn’t it great that we can allow the mind of Christ to influence us in such a way that we have a clear direction as to His will and plans for us? We can actually know what to say and how to respond in situations even when they come as a surprise! Being clothed with the mind of Christ far outweighs the importance of any outward apparel we might put together.
Another “spiritual” attire we should consider wearing daily, is the Armor of God. We are instructed: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” Ephesians 6:13 (NIV). The Armor of God is made of up clothing items that cover all the important areas of our lives to provide a defense against the challenges and temptations that might come our way. We are to wear the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes fitted with the gospel of peace, to carry the shield of faith in one hand and the sword of the Spirit in the other hand, and finally, to place the helmet of salvation on our head.
The sword of the Spirit provides us with the power of prayer and His Word to equip us in the midst of spiritual battles. God’s helmet of Salvation helps us to control our thoughts, so we can hear what He is saying and not be easily distracted by doubt and fear. Wearing the breastplate of righteousness reminds us that we do not have to live in condemnation, but we are free in Christ. As we dress in the righteousness of Christ, it gives us boldness to share God’s promise of freedom from sin, shame and the lies of enemy and encourage them to experience new life in Christ. When wearing the Shoes of the gospel of peace, God will help us to go where we should and choose not to go places that will pull us away from our faith or put us at risk. Where we walk, peace will follow with a witness of God’s grace and love. When we are armed with faith and the Word of God, no matter where we are or who we are with, we have the strength to do and say what honors God. He gives us power to overlook an offense from what others may say to us. God’s armor will prevent the enemy from robbing your joy and He will use you to encourage your friends, family and co-workers.
Many of us are carrying heavy burdens and walking through dark places in our lives on a daily basis. But when we “put on” the Garment of Praise, we can find that this simple act of obedience will change the focus of our hearts and the atmosphere in our homes. “To provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor,” Isaiah 61:3 (NIV). When we begin to praise God, His glory will fill our hearts, our minds, and our lives as we are worshiping Him. I have experienced some life-changing breakthroughs when I lifted up a voice of praise. An atmosphere of heaviness can be changed no matter where we are, when we agree to praise God with our whole heart. Perhaps this is the first item to put on each morning when we wake up. Before our feet hit the floor, begin thanking and praising God for who He is!
Today when you get dressed, remember that “Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come” Proverbs 31:25 (KJV). You are beautiful, beloved and blessed when you “put on” all that God has provided for you to live a joy-filled, victorious life. So, what are you going to wear today that will make a difference in the direction of your day and perhaps in the lives of those you are with? God has an abundance of options for you to dress for success!
About Ruth Puleo :
Ruth Puleo is an ordained minister, conference speaker, writer, mentor, and serves as the Women of Purpose Director for the Penn-Del District of the Assemblies of God. She passionately seeks to impact the lives of women and girls with courage and inspiration to follow God’s call on their lives. Ruth and her husband, John were called to pastoral ministry for 38 years while raising their three children. The ultimate blessing has been the gift of eight precious grandchildren.