Have you noticed the contradiction among people who wear uniforms?
The word “uniform” means “the same.” The idea is to build a “team” identity, without undue focus on the individual. However, those who wear uniforms have plenty of opportunity to call attention to themselves. The military, police, and even youth organizations have badges of rank, insignia for years of service, and medals for outstanding performance. Those with more brass and braid tend to stand out from the rest and receive more honor.
Lest the civilians feel left out, there’s plenty of pressure to stand out with the physical trappings of designer labels and the latest grooming styles. In some circles, the pricier the business suit, the more perceived status and power. (Before some people protest, we know stories of fashion snobbery among jeans-wearing saints, too!)
But Scripture suggests a different set of priorities.
While the latter part of I Timothy 2 causes some debate over a term or two, the passage contains other terms that should be viewed as positive attributes -- worthy goals for everyone: modesty, self-control, good works, to name only a few. (Go ahead – read the passage again and see how many you can list.)
These characteristics are not always recognized and rewarded in the current culture, but they are noticed. They are noticed by those who need a kind word or a helping hand. And they are noticed by Someone who is ultimately more influential than any Paris-based clothing designer.
Following the example (yet again)
What might we learn from the example of Jesus, who lived an earthly life without all the “brass and braid” befitting His holy status? From His humble birth to His daily walk among the common people, Jesus “wore” a wardrobe of service and compassion.
How’s that for a fashion statement?
1. What temporary “earthly” trappings are you tempted to “clothe” yourself with?
2. What spiritual attribute do you think God wants you to replace that with?
3. How will you achieve this?