Page 3 - Clothing | Truth & Tidings
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Identity                                        light of such spiritual blessing? And in a
                                                quickly changing Western society that may
    Have you ever stood outside a school,       hasten the return of the fiery furnace and the
walked through a mall, or some other pub-       lions’ den to challenge the true identity of the
lic place, and noted the irony of so many       believer, can we expect to be prepared for
people trying to establish their unique         such challenges if we have not surrendered
identity? Indeed, the heavily tattooed indi-    our will to the obedience of Christ in the
vidual with multiple piercings and ques-        mundane and daily tasks of our lives, such as
tionable clothing may seem unique – until       dress? So let us purpose in our hearts to iden-
he is followed by 20 more individuals who       tify with our Savior in every aspect of our
have chosen the same identity. We live in a     lives, including our clothing choices.
time when simply seeking to dress in mod-
est simplicity and meekness stands apart as     Liberty
truly different. In Babylon, in 600BC,
Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel              Consider Paul’s impassioned plea to the
drew the same distinction. Though they          Galatians that they should not lose the prac-
were far away from the ruined temple and        tical enjoyment of Christian liberty. “Stand
had been given new names, they declined         fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ
to eat and drink what was provided by the       hath made us free, and be not entangled
worldly king. They did this, not out of a       again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal 5:1).
desire to declare proudly that they were dif-   One might challenge, “But I thought my lib-
ferent, nor in an attempt to outdo the com-     erty meant that I am free to do and to dress as
petition, but rather because they under-        I like without adherence to any rule book?” If
stood that they served another King, even       we assume that Christian liberty means we
while in Babylon. Would you not agree           are wise to follow the choice of our own will,
that, while there were far more dramatic        then we have missed the message of
and impressive moments before them in           Galatians. Yes, Paul does teach that we have
the fiery furnace and in the lions’ den, it     been liberated from the stern and implacable
was these early experiences of identifica-      schoolmaster of the law, but he also clearly
tion with the God of Israel which prepared      teaches that we have been liberated into a life
them for future service? Even in those early    lived under the unfailing guidance of the
days, their obedience and identification        Holy Spirit. Paul emphatically states, “For,
with God in the simple and mundane              brethren, ye have been called unto liberty;
things of life were rewarded with great         only use not liberty for an occasion to the
blessing. “As for these four children, God      flesh, but by love serve one another … This I
gave them knowledge and skill in all learn-     say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not
ing and wisdom: and Daniel had under-           fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:13, 16). So,
standing in all visions and dreams” (Dan        would you not agree that, when we come to a
1:17). Would not the development of             gathering of the assembly, one of the great
deeper, spiritual knowledge, learning, wis-     controlling principles of conduct is Christian
dom, and understanding given by God be          liberty? And if the demands of faithful fel-
of great value in our assemblies? Is not iden-  lowship are that I examine my person for un-
tification with Christ in every aspect of our   confessed sin and for fleshly attitudes, would
lives, including dress, a worthy pursuit in     it not also be right to evaluate my dress and

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