We are kings and priests for Jesus–Get your clothes on!! (Rev. 5:10)

Do I have your attention yet?

I have recently been reminded of the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, one of my childhood favorites by Hans Christian Anderson, that I read in the Classics Illustrated Junior comic books.  The complete story can be found here:

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The story revolves around a “king” who loves clothes more than anything else and has, basically, a change of clothes for every hour of the day!  Two con men show up to steal from the king and embarrass him at the same time by telling him they are fabulous tailors who can make him a suit of magical cloth that only the most intelligent and worthy people in his kingdom can see.

After a long enough period of time has elapsed and he can no longer stand the suspense, he sends his most trusted advisors, one at a time, to view the tailors’ shop with all the looms and threads and materials he has amply supplied to get their assessment of the cloth they are making for him.  They of course can see nothing, as there is nothing to see, but they carry on a charade so that the emperor will not consider them stupid and they lose their jobs.

Is the enemy mocking us?

Before long, the suspense is killing him and the Emperor can no longer stay away.  So, with his advisors in tow, he goes to see for himself.  The tailors apparently were marvelous mimes as they moved around the looms and the tools of their “trade” as if there really was something to be working on.   They all made over the fabric as if it were the most magnificent cloth in the world.  The colors and patterns were fit for a king!  Of course, the king couldn’t see anything, and was now questioning his ability to rule his kingdom.

The time came for the Emperor to reveal the new clothes that the entire kingdom had been buzzing about for weeks.  The tailors, with great pomp and circumstance, assisted him in getting undressed and then “dressed” in his new “duds” and off they went to show off the kingly apparel in a parade down the main street of the local town.  Everyone was aghast at what they saw, or didn’t see, but only a small child would say the truth that everyone else was thinking: “The Emperor hasn’t got any clothes on!”

The “moral of the story”, if you will, is that there’s a whole lot of deception and pride goin’ on here!  The king let two complete strangers feed him a pack of lies which appealed to his prideful self and before long the entire government had bought into the lies so they could keep their positions of power.  Finally, it took a child to tell them all the truth!

How many of us are running around naked and what lies have we bought into to keep us from putting our clothes on?

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives).  [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and  mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].”  Colossians 3: 12-14 The Amplified Version  (underlining is mine, for emphasis)

Wow!  When I read this the other day, I immediately thought of you and that I had to share this encouraging message from the Lord.

My bad behavior messes look like this I’ll bet!

My behavior has definitely not always been what it should be and I have a sneaky feeling I may not be the only one in that “boat”.  But I do want to encourage you and me too, especially if you have a relationship with the Lord, (but even if you don’t, this is a good word for you too), that we need to “put on” right behavior.  Be purposeful, diligent as best you can, to do the right things.  Think about what behaviors you have allowed yourself to commit.  Are they good for you, or are they ultimately hurtful?  Do they benefit others, or are you being selfish and self centered?  Are we really loving others or are our motives selfish?

You can do this, I know you can!  Together, we can change our piece of the world for the better, one behavior at a time!