Decent lives for all to see ...
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. -Romans 13:12-14 NLT
The imagery of clothing in these verses fascinates me. What do you make of the idea that we are to shed the dirty clothes of bad behaviors and put on the presence of Christ? Certainly Paul is not writing about entering into some sort of hypocrisy and being someone you are not. So how should we read these verses? I think that he is saying that a Christian acts like Christ. The truth is that when we live an inside-out life we show the beauty of Christ in our hearts.
I love the phrase "we belong to the day". It speaks to me of how my life is an open book that is read by all I encounter. When Paul advises us to stay away from immoral behavior he is telling us to be different from those who do not bear the mark of Jesus Christ in their heart. He is not throwing cold water on the things that make us happy but is confronting us with the reality that people are watching. As he says, "We must live decent lives for all to see."
Shine through me today Lord. Help me to show Christ by my words, my actions and my attitudes.