Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Life, New Self



In TLC's Say Yes to the Dress, employees of Kleinfeld Bridal, the world's premier bridal salon in Manhattan, work overtime to match each bride-to-be that crosses their threshold with the wedding dress of her dreams. These specialists far exceed the typical requirements of a salesperson, taking on the roles of counselor, family therapist and life coach. After a stressful, but thorough process of selection, fitting, altering and delivering the dress before the impending wedding day, Kleinfeld guarantees full satisfaction for every bride.



Imagine attending a beautiful wedding, complete with exotic fresh flowers, beautiful decorations and a wedding party dressed impeccably in the wedding theme colors. The guests have smiled, greeted one another and snapped dozens of photos, and everyone's waiting for the big moment. It has finally come.

Two male attendants swing open huge wooden sanctuary doors, and everyone peeks, trying to snatch a glimpse. And then you see her -- the star of the show. She's wearing a beautiful white gown that cascades to the floor. She's carrying a perfect bouquet of flowers. And every strand on her head falls right in place. Her entire ensemble of dress, bouquet and headpiece all work together to write this chapter in the bride's fairy tale.

She's absolutely stunning. Here comes the bride...

Now imagine if the attendants opened the door to reveal a young women dressed in a tight hot pink mini-dress. Instead of flowers or pearls decorating her locks, she's got pink and purple glitter matted throughout. And beautiful white slippers are replaced by a pair of hot pink patent leather platform stilettos. As guests of this wedding, we'd be baffled and disenchanted over this wedding. We'd wonder why this bride came dressed to work the red-light district of the city. And we'd wonder why she didn't say yes to the dress!

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul tells the believers there to say yes to the dress. Not a wedding dress, however. He tells them to put on the outward appearance of a person in love with Christ, one who belongs to Him. He encourages them to represent on the outside what they've professed to be true on the inside.

He tells them in Ephesians 4:17, "...you must no longer live as the Gentiles do... Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more."

Pretty self-explanatory, huh?

Paul reminds them that "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Verses 22-24

So what are some manifestations of the "new self"? So glad you asked. Paul gives a list in Verses 25-32.
  • Speaking truthfully, honesty
  • Not allowing anger to lead to sin
  • Not using ones hands for stealing, but for useful work and giving to those in need
  • Speaking words that build others up, instead of tearing them down
  • Getting rid of bitterness, rage, anger, fighting and slander (gossip?), and malice
  • Being kind and compassionate to one another
  • Forgiving others as Christ has forgiven us
Let us, as God's children say yes to the dress -- the appropriate outward appearance and actions of those who belong to Him. May our speech, our behavior and our countenances reflect not our former worldly lives, but our new lives in Christ.

Let's put off the Old Self, and put on the New. Will you say yes?

Carla

2 comments:

  1. love this piece!

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  2. Thank you Lisa! It was a blessing to write.

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