We’ve all seen (and probably been) that fashion-don’t walking down the street. We all know that person is inevitably going to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is kind of like alcohol – they both repel inhibitions. You can go out in your PJ’s and fit right in. I’m not judging. If you see me in there with a Boston Red Sox hat on, then I probably just threw on some clothes and ran in there too. But, for the most part, we try NOT to be that person. Right? No one wants to be that person that people laugh at because cracks or rolls are showing.
We’re getting ready to head out as a family, and I realized something as I was picking out my clothes for the day. I have two types of clothes: the clothes I wear when I feel good about myself, and what I call “forgiving” clothes. “Forgiving” clothes are the ones I wear when I’m bloated or just need to be comfortable. You know what I mean. We all have those. When you’re feeling larger than life, you’re not going to wear white skinny jeans. (Shoot, I don’t even own white pants or skinny jeans – let’s just be realistic.) They’re the long and loose shirts or the jeans you can still breathe in. They cover the muffin top, hide the knees, and don’t show crack every time you bend over.
As I was getting dressed, I realized that these two types of clothes are also like two types of people. There are those people that come around when everything’s going well. You look good; you’re feeling good. You want to go out and have a good time – they’re there. Then there are the people that are there for you when you’re at your worst. You’re not looking so hot. You’re not feeling well, so you’re probably being grumpy and short with everyone. But they still forgive you. They still come around. They’re the ones you end up loving, and you know that they truly love you too.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
As good as our friends may be, they can never compare to Christ – the friend that sticks closer than a brother. His grace and love covered all of our sins when He died for us. That’s the ultimate example of forgiveness – dying for us when we were at our worst.
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
His love covers us completely. He can take what is ugly or unlovely about us and make it beautiful. He can take ashes and make it beautiful (Is. 61). His grace is like that fabulous shirt that’s long and loose. It covers the muffin-top and the unsightly plumber’s crack that show no matter how high you hike your pants up. It’s comfortable, so you can breathe without everyone knowing if you have an inny or an outie. He loves us and showers His grace over us. With Him, we can be our best even when we’re feeling our worst. He’s forgiving.
But I’m going to take this just one step farther. . . Although, Christ is forgiving, we must remember these verses. Romans 6:1-2 – “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Just because some of our clothes are forgiving doesn’t mean they’ll always be. We can’t just go around eating everything in sight and expect our loose clothes to stay our loose clothes. In the same way, we can’t keep sinning just because Christ has extended His grace to us. Although we have a patient and loving God, He cannot tolerate sin. He lovingly corrects us to bring us back where we need to be. In this analogy, we’d call that spanx. Painful, yes. Necessary, sometimes.
I love how you can be standing in your closet one minute, and God is reminding you of His grace the next. Hopefully, I be reminded of this every time I go back to my “forgiving” clothes.