It was only a dress.
Nothing immodest or revealing, just a crazy zebra dress.
I wasn't even looking for it the day I purchased it, but something about the fun print drew my eye. Did a midlife crisis nudge me to funk up my wardrobe?
But as much as I wanted to act young and spunky, something stirred in my gut. Was it over the top? Would it cause too much attention? Is it appropriate to get funky in church? The questions kept me awake. Would wearing a zebra dress in God's house dishonor Him? Was I being too self-centered jazzing up my wardrobe? How could a simple piece of clothing cause so much anxiety? Was God trying to tell me something?
I came right out and asked Him.
Lord, I don't want to dishonor you in what I wear. You know I've been worried about this silly dress. I want to hear you right. Help me know Your thoughts.
Into my head popped a verse.
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:14)
I tracked other verses using the word "clothe."
Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. . . (Isaiah 5:21)
. . .All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another. . . (1 Peter 5:5)
These "clothing" items--compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, strength--developed as we clothe ourselves with Jesus, are internal character traits, not external attire. In other words, more important than what I wear is the attitude with which I wear it. God told me to get over myself already.
It was only a dress.
God is more concerned about what goes on in my heart than the funk I wear on the outside. The dress itself doesn't matter as much as my attitude. Of course I want to be honoring in what I wear. I pray about this all the time. But FIRST, before I ever look in my closet, I need to cultivate my relationship with God. For if I neglect to clothe myself with the Lord Jesus Christ, nothing I wear on my exterior will reflect Him.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4
I wore my zebra dress with confidence, thanking God for clearly addressing a minute concern in my life. I like to think He grinned as I donned a replica of His creation and maybe even shook His head saying, "That Tami, she cracks me up." But more than that, I hope He added, "She's my girl, though. Let my Spirit shine."
Photo Credit: Adam Foster | Codefor