Words of Worth

What NOT to Wear

February 4, 2011

“What are you wearing?” This question is tossed around among teenage girls as often as teenage boys toss their clothes on the floor. Adults aren’t exempt from this dilemma either. At any given function, the dress code can be defined as casual, business casual, smart casual, or business informal, just to name a few. What we wear often, if not always, matters. After this winter, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is wondering if we will ever wear short sleeves and flip-flops again! Wearing the proper clothing is crucial and sometimes it’s what we don’t choose to wear that makes all the difference.

The story of David and Goliath shows us “what not to wear”.

In between two mountains in the valley of Elah, the Israelites were gathered and camped. (1 Samuel 17) Everyday a champion from the Philistines swaggered out and taunted them; his name was Goliath and the Scriptures spare no detail describing his battle array – bronze helmet, scale armor, shin guards, and he carried a spear of iron. For forty days, Goliath called for someone to come fight, and for forty days the Israelites cowered in fear, even though they too were armed for battle. Had they forgotten how God had gone before them time and again to show Himself mighty on their behalf?

Scripture tells us “they were dismayed and greatly afraid”. (vs 11)

One of the young men bringing supplies witnessed this scene and dared to pose a question. “Who is this Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (vs 26) This messenger boy also happened to be a shepherd and his name was David. Unlike the quivering Israelites who were dressed for battle (don’t forget), David’s arsenal began in his own memory bank. Recounting the previous times God had delivered him, David’s own personal shield of faith was rooted in his experiences and he expected no less from God this time either.

The King agreed to let David go into the fray but not before he equipped David with his very own royal armor. Now it stands to reason King Saul’s battle gear would be the best of the best and designed to protect him. But David refused the King’s offer after trying them on for size. “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” (vs 39) The word “test” in the original Hebrew language means, “to test, try, or prove”. There was certainly no flaw in this kingly array but David was not willing to wear something that didn’t fit him. Maybe it wasn’t just the wrong physical size; maybe it was the wrong size for his emboldened heart.

David wouldn’t wear Saul’s armor; we shouldn’t wear the world’s armor. Everything we are offered by the world should be tested by the word of God. This will show what we should or shouldn’t wear. How should we be dressed? Colossians 3:12 tells us to start this way: “…clothe yourselves with a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…” I do believe if we “layer” on these qualities we will be ready for any battle we face.

Looking for more words? Continue reading Colossians 3:12-17 and see what you can add to your wardrobe. (CT)

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