Every single morning you get up you get dressed. Most people spend a significant amount of time in front of the mirror every morning before going to school or work or to hang out with friends. You probably check yourself over before leaving your house every day to make sure you look good and there’s nothing wrong with what you’re wearing.
But do you consider what attitude you’re wearing when you leave your home every morning?
The Apostle Paul writes to the congregation of one of his churches, “You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” He’s saying that we (as Christians) have taken off the old self, our old ways, our old attitudes that we had when we were walking in sin and unbelief. He writes that as Christians we need to have put on our new selves—made in the likeness of our Creator (God). Do you see? He’s not just saying that we need to be good. Paul’s not just saying that we should choose to wear righteousness and goodness. He’s not just saying that we should be like God. He’s saying that we were designed to be like the one who made us, the one in whose image we’ve been created. Let’s look more like we’re originally made to look.
However, often we do not act in a way that reflects our intended design or our Maker. We can be selfish. We can be greedy. We can often be judgmental. Whether kids, teenagers or adults, you’ve probably seen just how judgmental Christians can be.
“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4)
Do you realize that you’re being very judgmental when you exclude people, don’t talk to people or make them feel welcome at church? Are we aware that our cliques are sinful and that we’re showing favoritism which God deems as sinful?? God forgive me for being judgmental and showing favoritism.
You’ve probably heard before that pride is like the first, original sin. I think that part of the reason is that pride often shows itself as the root of many of our other sins. Wearing an attitude of pride appears in so many different forms.
“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5-6)
So what Peter is saying here is take off your pride and instead put on humbleness. What is humility? It’s having a right view of yourself. I know that as human I tend to think of myself as more important than I ought to. Humility is the ability to not be thinking about how amazing you are, how everyone else would just be better if they were more like you or even emulated the characteristics you have. Humility is the ability to not to be putting yourself down and talking about how lame you are but rather to not even be thinking about yourself. Humility frees us from self-loathing, self-loving and self-worry. Because when you grasp a proper view of yourself, all that time you spent worrying about how you look, how others perceive you, hoping others like you, wanting others to be impressed with you, wanting others to feel sorry for you or wanting others to just notice you is freed up to be invested in other people and genuinely listening to them and caring for them.
Humility before God allows you to bend your knee, say you were wrong and that you are sorry. Pride doesn’t bend a knee, it doesn’t admit wrong. But a true humble person is someone who has no problem stepping aside, no problem asking for forgiveness. There is not a person on this planet who probably couldn’t use a little more humility in their lives, helping them view God as big, themselves as small in perspective to who God is and be freed up to concentrate on others rather than themselves.
These are just a few attitudes we need to take off and a few we should put on instead. So when you’re racing out the door tomorrow worrying about whether or not you remembered to comb your hair and weather your shirt matches your shoes or if anyone will notice the hole in your jeans, don’t forget to think about what sort of an attitude you’re wearing…