In most of the Bible verses that try to teach believers how they can be Holy, or like God, or be morally disciplined; words that depict “putting on” these attributes are rampant.
For instance, Col 3: 14 admonishes believers to put on or to be clothed in Love. Eph. 6:10 talks about putting on the whole armor of God. Embedded deep within the subconscious and teachings in most Christian circles is the attitude of “putting something on.” It may be an interpretation issue, but it almost points out why most Christians suppress their desires, wear armors of kindness, or love, or humility, etc. often when it suits them, and they become a different person when the stakes are turned. In other words, there is little or no emphasis on how the egoic mind can be transformed to conform to the identity of God.
The sad thing about these armors is that anyone can put it on. Even in churches today, members put on the garments of submission and reverence to whatever the leadership says even though they may not agree with it. People put on different kinds of garments in different places. When at home, a different garment is on. When at work, a different garment is on. When in the church, or playing, or wherever they are, they blend into whatever the situation demands. I believe this is true for everyone, though.
I’ve been pondering why this is so. When we put on these garments, it only covers up what is beneath. It doesn’t change the nature. Garments do not alter the blemish that’s hidden. It’s only the right therapy that does. It’s also possible to put on a garment for too long that we forget about who we were in the first instance. Rather than have a relationship with who we are, we have a relationship with whatever garment we put on at every point in time.
Real transformation takes place when we put off garments rather than putting them on. We experience true liberty and peace when we are willing to confront our demons and not try to hide them. True freedom and peace come when we’ve grown comfortable with our “nakedness.” When we aren’t ashamed of what goes on in our hearts, we accept our mistakes and work in correcting them. We look onto the day when our egoic mind is conformed into that of God.
The emphasis on being clothed with humility, kindness, love, among other virtues, only makes us act per what these virtues mean in their communities. Rather than let the nature of God flow, we cover our egoic tendencies with our conceptual understanding of what God’s nature ought to be, or how God would want it. We also find ourselves at odds when we misinterpret the actions of others because they aren’t acting how we expect them to act.
My heartfelt prayer is that we set ourselves on the path to true liberty and peace. Rather than putting on garments to cover up our “nakedness,” let’s grow to be more comfortable with our “nakedness.” Let’s allow our real self to be our garment and not how we’ve been thought to behave. Let us allow God to take the lead, for that’s where truth, life, and liberty lies.