Fashioned In His Image: 7 Tips To Redeem Your Wardrobe
Vogue magazine. Skinny jeans. Designer sunglasses. It’s easy to see that Australian society is obsessed with fashion. To look good in the image of celebrities is to mark yourself as a modern individual, right?
Fashion has always intrigued me. I've often wondered if there is any limit to the combination of colours, styles and patterns that can ‘go' together. But is a keen interest in fashion a worthwhile exercise or just an endless episode of wind-chasing?
Here are seven things to keep in mind when you start to feel a little trendy-anxious about your wardrobe.
1. Fashion is an ever-revolving door of in and out.
Wedding photographs of my father suggest that what is fashionable now will not be later. Heck, I even remember when Hypercolor t-shirts were the cool thing to have! Fashion marketing campaigners know that trends come and go—Orange is the new black... this week. So many of us seem to have caught hipster-phobia (the fear of being left behind in the fashion stakes); that as soon as a new season dawns, we rush out to our favourite Myer or H&M to secure the necessary accessories we must to feel at peace with the world. No wonder my fashion sense leaves me a little dizzy at times. Without the help of my fashion advisor (aka wife), I’d probably get stuck in the turnstile.
2. Fashion has to do solely with the outward appearance.
Fashion is all about how others see us. And if we believe that others see us in a good light, we feel better about ourselves. Image, so it appears, is everything. But that’s just it. Fashion has to do with the outside of our lives—the way we want others to see us. We can change what we wear at the drop of a hat. Now I know plenty of us seem quite pleased that we do change our appearance, lest our wardrobes become a storehouse for dust and boredom. This is commendable, but it is not ultimate. It is not the problem. While man looks at the outward appearance, God looks to the heart.
3. Fashion is a reminder that we’re not what we once were.
We weren’t always fixated on how we look. After all, our first parents were naked and without shame. It was only after they rebelled against their creator that they suddenly became aware of their nakedness. It was only after they disobeyed that single command that they tried to hide their mistake. God even provided the first piece of clothing—skins from an animal—to cover them. And human beings have been covering up since. See that’s all clothing does. It's only when we de-robe that we see ourselves for what we really are. Our problem has never been with the outside; it’s always been a problem of the heart. And no matter how many dresses or jeans or handbags or shoes we have in our collection, none of it will ever change us. We don’t need to keep changing the outside, we need to go inside.
4. Some things don’t go out of fashion.
Enter Jesus. Here was a man that was radically counter-cultural. Not in what he wore or how he looked, but it was his ideas and his words that drew crowds from near and far. There was something profoundly authentic about the way he loved. He was real. Jesus was a trend-setter but for another reason. The Bible tells us that Jesus doesn’t change. That’s surely comfort for those who need an anchor for their soul! When the winds of fashion blow back and forth, there’s a place for our hearts to rest—away from the many things that take our Pinterest.
5. Follow Jesus, not Versace
Following Jesus today isn’t really in fashion. There was a time in our culture when it was, but it is not now. His first followers didn’t do so because it was trendy. Jesus said things like, “Take up your cross and follow me” and “Whoever wants to find his life must lose it". Saying things like that isn’t very fashionable. They’re actually pretty hard to do. But Jesus isn’t interested in scoring brownie points. He didn’t care what the religious leaders of the day thought about him. He was interested in the things that are unseen— things like how we love and the condition of our hearts. He simply says, “Come, follow me”. Come as you are. Just as you are. I will make something beautiful out of you.
6. Jesus clothes us
When we follow Jesus, he places a cloak of righteousness on us (Isaiah 61:10). That means that when God sees us, he sees us with Jesus’ perfect record. That’s a pretty awesome robe to wear! And that robe matters so much because the very one who freely gives it, was himself stripped and publicly humiliated. His clothes divided up just for fun. And then he hung on a piece of wood for a crime he didn’t commit. But don’t bother to check the price tag of that robe, it's totally out of our reach. But because of how awesome God is, he simply hands them out for free to people who seek him. We call that grace.
7. We are fashioned in His image.
It doesn’t stop there, He just keeps on giving! 2 Corinthians 5:5 says, “Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” We don’t just get to wear that robe for free. Do you not know that one day all who believe in Jesus will be clothed in a heavenly dwelling? As long as we’re still wearing our earth-suits, we’ll have a longing to be with Jesus forever. But our forever home is not here; it is in heaven where God lives. He cares for you more than you could imagine (1 Pet 5:7) and has promised us an eternal future with new bodies (2 Cor 5:1).
So for all the fashionistas out there feeling worried about how you look and if your friends will like you, remember that your wardrobe is not what really matters. The freedom that God gives far outweighs any fleeting feeling that wearing a label will bring you. He has already woven his plan into the fabric of history and he is saving a people for himself that on one day we will see him with unveiled face. And that’s much more exciting than next season’s catalogue!
The devil may wear Prada, but that’s nothing compared to what God has in store.