YES! Your Dress Matters
Christianity involves a radical change of mind which affects the entire life. The inward transformation is, most obviously, noted outwardly. Thoughts, words and actions are now Christ-like since Christ is dwelling in the mind through the truths of the Plan of Salvation (Ephesians 3:17). Included in this total change is the manner of dress of the renewed man.
Unfortunately, many professed Christians do not care to realize the telling moral influence exerted by their manner of dress. They misrepresent and misapply the scripture which tells us to rend our heart and not our garment (Joel 2:13). Some even say “ It doesn’t matter what I wear…it’s my heart”, while others try their best to lessen the distinction between themselves and the world. Oh how the Master is misrepresented by these double-minded professors! Little do they know that many a worldlings have been drawn to learn about the Saviour through the modest dress of Christ’s followers!
The dress of the Christian must be a living testimony that he is living by the faith of Jesus Christ- that he has been justified by the living, transformative knowledge of God ( Romans 1: 17). The real Christian would show in dress that he is not motivated by unsanctified desire to follow worldly fashion and pleasure. He seeks no compromise with worldliness to gain the friendship of the carnally-hearted and to lessen the demarcation in dress between him and the unconverted. The renewed man has to “…walk by faith, not by sight.”(11 Corinthians 5:7). The Bible says, “therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold ALL things are become new. And ALL things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (11 Corinthians 5:17&18- emphasis supplied). The “all things” includes our dress.
Nineteenth century inspired Seventh Day Adventist writer, Mrs. Ellen G. White properly informs us that “dress is an index of the mind and heart. That which is hung upon the outside is the sign of what is within” (Mind Character and Personality Vol.1 pp.289). She further reminds us of the obvious difference between the Spiritually-minded and the carnally-minded-
“In words, in dress, in spirit, in everything, there is to be a marked distinction between Christians and worldlings. The distinction has a convincing influence upon world lings. They see that the sons and daughters of the LORD do separate themselves from the world, and that the LORD binds them up with Himself” (That I may know Him, ‘A marked distinction’)
Indeed, in the life of a genuine Christian, the outward adorning is in harmony with the inward grace given into his mind at justification (Romans 3:22). His all-time desire yea, his very actions, motivated by this inward grace testify that God is God alone in His experience and that he would rather obey Righteousness than the world. His dress shows that YHWH’ principles are exalted above every self/creation-motivated value.
What are you testifying in your dress? Whose witnesses are you?
Sis. Ann-Marie Ballantyne