Watch What You Put On

If you don’t watch out, putting on your unhappiness in the morning can become as instinctive as putting on your clothes. ~ Robert Brault

Did you ever get dressed, only to discover you had on one black sock and one blue one? I’ve done it – more than once! It’s difficult to see true colors if the room isn’t light.

Or perhaps you dig something out of the closet, put it on, and say to yourself, “Well, that doesn’t look good (or fit well),” and back it goes into the closet for another six months!

In both cases, you’ve put on something wrong and had to make a change.

Of course, changing clothes is simple. Grab another sock or shirt and face the day. But what if you’re wearing a wrong attitude?

Maybe you’re mad at your spouse or a co-worker. Or perhaps you’re facing something you’d rather avoid. Possibly a loved one died and you’re feeling lonely or sad. Whatever troubles you, however, shows up on your face, in your mouth and through your actions. People immediately know you ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed’. Why? Because you’re wearing a bad attitude!

Some people wake up in the morning, and before they even get out of bed, they’ve put on anger and resentment, mistrust or unforgiveness, sadness or depression. They start the day by letting their minds dwell on all their problems. Because of their thoughts, they ‘put on’ an attitude that not only looks bad, it doesn’t fit well with their position as a child of God.

They allowed their hearts to be dark and troubled, so they don’t see the wrong-colored mismatched spiritual and mental ‘clothes’ they’re wearing. They need a wardrobe change!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you … let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Peace is one of the most valuable qualities that God gave us. Keeping your heart clothed in peace, along with all the other attributes of God, is your responsibility. That’s why God says to ‘put on’ those things. You can’t be peaceful if you’re fretful, stressful or resentful.

Jesus said don’t think about the problems and worries (Matt. 6:34.) Paul said to keep your thoughts on things like love, truth, honesty and goodness (Phil. 4:8). In other words, you are not supposed to meditate on your problems all day long. Instead, you are to cast all your cares upon God for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7).

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. (Gal. 3:27) As a born-again believer, Jesus is in you, and you are in Him. As a member of the household of God, you are a joint heir of all that Jesus has. You can put on and walk in that authority and privilege.

King’s kids put on royal robes every morning. They don’t fret about problems; they trust Daddy to take care of them! They walk in sureness of their position as a royal child. You and I should do the same, accepting with assurance that Abba Father meets all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

It’s your flesh (your mind, will and emotions) that wants to wear those wrong attitudes. Spiritually, you have all and abound, so there’s no need to feel sorry for yourself or angry with someone else. God’s got plenty for everyone! Instead of letting negative feelings control you, put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14). In other words, don’t allow your negative thoughts and feelings to control your mind, mouth or actions.

And that ye put on that new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24). Righteousness simply means to be and act right, in harmony with your position as a child of God. The Bible says to imitate Jesus, to copy Him just like a child imitates a parent. Philippians says you are filled with the fruits of righteousness (v 1:11) because of your relationship with Jesus, and Galatians lists those fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. If you’re filled with them, they ought to be spilling over into your attitude and actions.

… put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him (Col. 3:10). The Bible says you are a new creature [creation] in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). Are you acting like it? Think of yourself as Jesus’ twin brother or sister, created to be just like Him. Practice responding in love. Be merciful to everyone. Put on joy and peace instead of discord and tension.

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation (I Thess. 5:8). The Bible talks a lot about the armor of God. Why does a soldier wear armor? To protect him from the weapons aimed against him. Let’s look at the armor God gave us, listed in Ephesians 6.

First, there’s truth. We’re supposed to wrap ourselves in the protection of Truth – the Word of God. Surround yourself with enough Word that you trust God implicitly in every situation. Jesus most insistent message was, “Fear not, believe only.” Believe what? That God’s Word is TRUE, not just some of the time or in special circumstances, but all the time.

Next, grab your breastplate of righteousness, designed to protect your heart and vital organs. What’s it made of? Your understanding and acceptance of your right standing with God. He sees you the same way He sees Jesus, as His beloved child.

Now, put on your marching boots – the preparation of the Gospel (or good news) of peace. Jesus gave you His peace. It’s not like the world’s version that changes from day to day; it’s stronger and able to withstand any temptation or challenge. You can walk from dawn to dark in the comfort of peace.

In front of your breastplate of righteousness, hold up your shield of faith! Strong faith can stand against any trial the devil throws at you. It trusts God’s promise that you are more than a conqueror and that God has already given you the victory.

Don’t forget your hat – the helmet of salvation. Don’t put on negative thoughts; keep your mind fixed on the assurance of salvation and deliverance.

Finally, grab your weapon, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (v. 17). When the devil accosted Jesus in the desert, He faced down every challenge from the devil by saying, “It is written….” The Sword – your sword – is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). It will slice through every problem, confusion, or stronghold if you will trust its Truth for your own life.

Ephesians 6:11 says, Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Soldiers don’t pick and choose which piece of armor to wear. They want it all! One piece won’t give you the protection you’d get if you put on ALL of it.

I read a story once about a woman who was facing significant challenges. She decided to take God at His Word in a very graphic way. Each morning, she would stand in her bedroom in front of the mirror and go through the motions of putting on each piece of God’s armor while reciting the appropriate verse. When she was ‘dressed’, she thanked God for His protection and mercy and headed out the door, ready to face the day.

Therefore, holy and beloved, as the elect of God, put on hearts of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another and forgiving one another if any man have a quarrel against another: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness (Col. 3:12-14). I think it’s interesting that God doesn’t just say “you have this stuff, use it”. No, He says put it on. Make it so much a part of you that it fits like a second skin.

Make a conscious decision – moment by moment – to keep yourself clothed with humility (I Peter 5:5), and clothed with your house which is from Heaven (2 Cor. 5:2). Rejoice in the Lord… for he Hath clothed [you] with the garments of salvation [and] the robe of righteousness (Is. 61:10). You should spend at least as much time on your spiritual wardrobe as you do your physical one.

The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light (Rom. 13:12). There’s that armor, again! God wants you protected and His Word provides everything you need to put on.

Jesus is the Light of the world. First John 2:10 says, He that loves his brother abides in the light. Paul declared us to be children of light and of the day, not of the night, nor of darkness (I Thess. 5:5). If you’ve got your light on, you won’t be tempted to put on one blue sock and one black one. Instead, keep your armor shined and in good condition. Put on your righteousness, truth, mercy, love and all the other attributes God gave you. You’ll be the best dressed Christian around, shining as a light in the world (Phil. 2:15).

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