It was a very hot summer afternoon. I was returning to the church after a pastoral visit when I saw him. It was broad daylight and he wasn’t wearing anything at all! I slowed my car to be sure it wasn’t some sort of mirage. It wasn’t! There he was in the middle of a nice middle-class suburban subdivision wearing nothing at all!
Now, I’ll admit that while it may have been extremely hot outside, this fellow had gone a little too far to beat the heat. Besides, he was exposing too much of himself to too many of the Sun’s harmful rays.
But, no matter! He seemed to be enjoying himself and oblivious to the world around him. And besides that, he had important matters to attend to. He was hunched over the handlebars of his tricycle and furiously riding in circles in the driveway of his home. I estimate that he was about three years old and figure that he somehow got outside without mommy’s permission!
I could not help but laugh at the sight of that little boy going about his own agenda without his clothes. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see his mommy’s expression when she found him. I’m sure she had a stern mommy to son talk with him about why we shouldn’t leave home without wearing any clothes. Perhaps daddy got a few words in when he arrived home. And I’m sure most parents have a similar story in their treasury of funny family memories. I know my parents do!
On a more serious note, the Apostle Paul talks a lot about clothing. Spiritual clothing, that is. Paul tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14). That’s good advice for Christians who must live and work in this sinful world. If we fail to put on the Lord Jesus Christ we will expose too much of ourselves to too many of the world’s harmful influences.
Paul also tells us that we are involved in spiritual warfare and should never think of doing battle without wearing “the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17) lest we be hurt by the harmful weapons of the enemy. The Apostle Peter adds his own fashion advice in I Peter 5:5. He tells us to “clothe [ourselves] with humility toward one another.” Failure to do so will expose us to pride’s harmful rays.
But with all of this talk of spiritual clothing, many Christians somehow manage to get out of the house without so much as wearing a stitch of armor. Many Christians walk about wearing nothing at all, oblivious to the worldly influences around them, furiously peddling after their own agenda. That is both foolish and careless!
So the next time you get ready to walk out the door, make certain you are fully clothed. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ for those everyday activities. Put on the full armor of God for warfare. And put on humility when you are going to spend time around other people. Don’t leave home without your clothes!