For Father’s Day, my wife spent $50 on me at Old Navy. The reason–my t-shirt collection is growing old, worn out, and rather musty. I probably spend an average of, oh, $1.50 on myself on clothes each year. I just wear stuff until it wears out, or can stand up on it’s own and walk around. Old Navy was having a pretty good sale on its graphic t-shirts ($8 per shirt… not bad). One of the shirts I picked up is similar to this one (except this one looks like it could be cut for a girl. I don’t know. I’m not fashion expert):
Oh no. A preacher with a beer shirt? One that seems to promote the idea that beer is beneficial? And it has a woman on it with short shorts? Scandalous!
It’s pretty ding-danged funny (I’m actually wearing it as I write it). It’s funny because:
- The shirt is funny. Just say “Beer is good for you” out loud. It’s frickin’ hilarious.
- I don’t drink. Not because the Bible says not to (it actually seems to promote the opposite, in moderation, but that’s a subject for another post). I just don’t like beer. And for a few medical reasons… thus the irony of the shirt on me. Beer is actually not good for me personally.
- My wife pointed this out to me the second she saw it: The apostle Paul would have his church planting buddy Timothy wear the shirt (check out 1 Timothy 5:23). Maybe one without the lady. But Timothy would rock out that shirt.
- I probably will stick with wearing it around the house. Unless I go to visit a brand new church. Then it’s on… just to see what the reaction of people will be.
Regardless of what you think about my new shirt, I love it. And I’ve needed some new shirts for awhile. I also picked up a few other T-shirts, and a decent looking button up for fall. I needed some new shirts because my old shirts just don’t cut it. They’re useful now only as dusting rags… and my wife will probably not allow them to be used for that.
I wrote all of that so I could write this: most of us have no problem updating our wardrobe because our old one is no longer fitting (either worn out or literally not fitting… either because we’ve added or lost a few pounds). But how many of us are living fitting lives? How many of us who claim to be followers of Jesus have lives that aren’t fitting to that claim?
Psalm 93 is by an unknown author and is about an unknown circumstance. What is clear is that the author is proclaiming God’s power. The middle of the psalm speaks of floods rising. The chances are good that the author is using a torrential flood to describe heathen kings or nations and their attempts to invade ancient Israel. Thus, the psalm shows God’s power through delivering His people from such aggressors. The final verse in the psalm says this,
Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.
The author could be talking about the temple or the nation. It doesn’t matter. Today, the church is God’s community, family, and temple. Holiness–a separation from sin–must adorn the church. For many Christians, this is happening. They are repenting of sin. They are allowing God to change them. They’re putting off old habits and putting on new, Christ-like habits (as Colossians 3:5-10 and other Scriptures say we’re to do). But the sad fact is that, for most, it’s not. We behave just like everyone else. We’re just as likely to cheat on our spouse, get drunk, get pissed off, etc.
Metaphorically speaking, some of us need to get rid of our old t-shirts and get some new ones. We need to allow God to invade our hearts, expose our sin, and change us. It’s a hard process. It’s a painful process. It’s a necessary process. It’s a vital process. I’ve been there. I am there. Always “cleaning out the closet”, so to speak.
What about you? If you claim to follow Jesus, what parts of your “closet” need to be cleaned out? What needs to be pitched and replaced?
It’s not enough to simply throw out the old. We must put on the new as well.