I recently discovered a Christian retail store called C28 – Not of This World (see Colossians 2:8). As I looked through the company’s website, I couldn’t help but get excited about the positive messages that are emblazoned upon the clothes marketed to teens – teens who are usually bombarded with negative-commenting T-shirts and accessories. It is my firm belief that Christian teens who wear Not of This World type clothing can send a clear message to other teens: It is okay to think positive about life and to embrace faith in your daily lives.
I clearly understand those people who believe it is not in good taste to make political or religious statements upon the front of a T-shirt, or to make a profit off such a venture. But do we really believe that we should limit how and where we should tell people the good news? If a T-shirt about the narrow path inspires other teens to ask questions, isn’t that a good thing? Our faith should be out in the open both in our attitude and in what we wear. Luke 9:26 (NIV) warns, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
One of C28 – Not of This World’s black T-shirts has LOSER in white letters across the front. Below that are, written in red, the words, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:24 NIV).
I can think of several public high schools in my area where wearing such a shirt to school would result in a bit of ridicule. And I am sure some school administrators would be quick to order a student to find an alternative or to turn the shirt inside out.
So let’s move on to a different scenario. Imagine a young, Christian girl at the mall, early on a Saturday morning. She’s wearing the shirt I described. Upon entering the mall, she discovers a moneybag containing three hundred dollars in twenty-dollar bills. The girl also discovers a deposit slip with the name of the shoe store that the moneybag belongs to.
Now picture the shoe store manager, realizing he has lost the moneybag. He is worried about what his boss will say. He searches frantically throughout the store. Then realizes he had taken the moneybag with him the night before, planning to make the deposit on his way to work. He locks the store back up and runs out to check in his car for the money. Not finding it, he returns to the store.
Outside the locked roll down gate he sees a young girl with a black T-shirt on. “LOSER,” it says on her shirt. “No, I’m the loser,” he whispers beneath his breath. He ignores the young lady and unlocks the security gate. She probably is just here to look around. Kids never have any money to spend, but they hang out all day in the mall.
“Excuse me, sir,” she begins.
“Look, can you just let me get the register open? Then I’ll be right with you, okay?” he angrily replies.
“Sure.” She calmly waits for the man to get settled in. She notices he appears to be very jittery. She wonders if it is because he realizes the moneybag is missing.
“Okay, register is open. What kind of shoe are you interested in buying?” he adds, some sarcasm in his voice. He starts reading the rest of the words, written in red, on her shirt. Oh great, one of those nutty Jesus freaks! I hope she doesn’t ask me if I know where I’ going when I die!
“I’m not really interested in shoes...today,” she nervously replies. Is he making fun of me?
“I found this moneybag by the west entrance, and it has three hundred dollars in it.”
“Oh my gosh! That is so awesome!” he responds, retrieving the bag from the young lady. “You have know idea how happy I am to have this back. I thought I had lost it!”
Smiling, the teenager turns to leave the store.
“Wait a minute,” the manager calls out. “Why didn’t you just keep the money? Most kids I know would have just thrown the moneybag away and gone shopping with that money.”
“That wouldn’t be right,” she replied.
“But no one would know,” he replied.
“Oh, someone would know.”
And with those last words, the teenager with faith in her heart and words to live by on her shirt, left the shoe store and heading toward Cinnabon, leaving behind a man who had been given a glimpse of what this civilization could be like if people focused on the civilization to come.
Christian-wear, worn over a Christian heart, can have a dramatic affect on the lost. It is a tool that should not be abandoned. There are millions upon millions who need to hear the gospel. All tools must be used to reach those who have yet to defeat death or understand that they are not of this world.
For more information about C28 please visit www.c28.com
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Very cool. I especially like the line, "Our faith should be out in the open both in our attitude and in what we wear." I absolutely agree! And thanks for the info on C28. Sounds like something in which we would be interested. Best wishes.
"Christian-wear, worn over a Christian heart, can have a dramatic affect on the lost."
I love this line. The shirt in and of itself may not be effective unless the heart of the person wearing the shirt matches the message. Thanks for a thought-provoking article.