In the clothing industry, big name fashion designers show off their latest designs at fashion shows. Each model wears the designer's clothes and walks up and down a catwalk while photographers and others look on. This is so they can see how the clothing looks and fits as the model moves and poses.
Recently, I thought of a strange twist on this. I'm a down-to-earth guy who's not so much interested in form as function. I'd rather see how useful the clothing is than how it looks. (My wife would rather me be otherwise.) So, I wondered how typical designer fashions would fare in real-world conditions. My idea is to have a fashion show with powerful fans blowing lots of cold air, rain, and snow on the models. I want to see how well the fashions perform in bad really weather. After all, I don't want to wear something that can't handle the real world!
Ok, so it's a stupid idea, even if it would make for a cool LL Bean outerwear commercial. But, I am going somewhere with this.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, ... (Romans 13:14)
When Paul told us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, he used a picture of putting on clothing. I usually take this to mean I need to put on Christ for the personal benefit of my day-to-day living in the world. But it occurred to me that we Christians are also to be like fashion show models, walking up and down the catwalk for all world to see. Like those models, our job is to draw attention to what we're wearing, not ourselves. We're displaying the Lord Jesus Christ.
In order to do that, before we get in the spotlight, we have to take all our raggity old clothes off, and put on the Designer's clothes exclusively (Colossians 3:5-11). We're here to showcase Jesus and Him only. Everything else is a distraction. (That means no prideful strutting about.) Like all fashion shows, all the glory must go to the Designer, not the models.
This show we're in is not like any earthly fashion show or beauty pageant. It runs 24 hours a day for the rest of our lives. Instead of photographers and fans of the Designer, we're surrounded by His competitors – His enemies. They don't want Jesus to look good, so they throw mud and all kinds of nasty stuff. When we get hit, we mustn't take it personally. After all, it's not us they hate so much as Christ.
And so the show goes on. But because we're wearing Christ, we don't respond in kind. When they curse, we bless (Luke 6:28). When they abuse us, we intercede for them. When they hate us, we show love to them. (The garment of Christ enables us to do this.) And after all is said and done, the clothing of Christ is no worse for wear. He wears well no matter what we've been through!