Do you have a personal fashion consultant? Without passing any comment on your outfits, allow me to suggest that you need a fashion consultant. In fact, it’s Biblical. Using the language of the King James version, listen to what the Lord says through Peter: “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He Which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1Peter 1:14-16).
Last month, on this page, we considered Peter’s teaching concerning your exile here on earth. You are “strangers and pilgrims” (1Peter 2:11), passing through foreign territory en route to your homeland. You belong in heaven, and you need to be careful who you style yourself after during your exile in this foreign territory. Who will you adopt as your fashion consultant? Will you conform (the meaning of the word “fashion” in the verse above) to the world you are passing through, or to the One who calls you to holiness?
Being fashionable and being holy aren’t normally considered as a pair. In truth, being holy has never been fashionable in the world. Peter twice refers to Noah in his letters, teaching us that Noah believed in God’s standard for righteousness. Noah was unique in his stance; only he and his family were saved from God’s judgment against sin. When you read the lists of sins that Paul and Peter record in their letters, it is obvious they also lived in an immoral age. Evidently, being holy wasn’t fashionable in the days of Noah, or in New Testament times, and it isn’t going to be fashionable in your day either.
The very word “holy” implies being unlike, and apart from, others. That is certainly not to say a holy person is a recluse who doesn’t interact with society. A basic part of being holy is being separated – separated from sin and the world, and separated unto God; separate in your affections, your values, your interests, your motives, and your priorities. Actually, Peter says, “as He Who called you is holy, you also be holy in ALL your conduct” (1Peter 1:15, ESV).
The Lord gives us additional fashion advice through Paul’s pen. “The fashion of this world passeth away” (1Cor 7:31). Why adopt the advice of a fashion consultant whose form will soon be burned up and forgotten? If the media and entertainment of the world is your prime fashion consultant, life will become shallow. It is from that “futility” of living, though, that Christ has redeemed us (1Peter 1:18-19). He is holy, like “a lamb without blemish or spot.” His blood has set us free and enabled us to call on God as “Father”(1Peter 1:17). Our Father is holy, and He calls us to the same. “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1Peter 4:16, ESV).
One of the main components in achieving likeness is developing closeness. To which will you pursue closeness this week; the world or your God? Who will be your personal fashion consultant?