Actions Speak Louder Than Clothes

Your clothes are the window to your personality; what you wear expresses who you are.  (I guess my flannelette pyjamas speak volumes!!)

Matthew 23.1-12

Reference:  v.5 ‘Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long.’ (NIV Bible)

Explore:  Clothing is essential to protect our bodies from the elements and in securing our modesty.  However, fashion would proclaim otherwise.  Your clothes are the window to your personality; what you wear expresses who you are.  (I guess my flannelette pyjamas speak volumes!!)  If people desire to be perceived as current and savvy to the times, they will wear the latest off the racks of the mainstream stores.  However, if someone prefers to be more alternative they will create their wardrobe from the more eccentric labels and styles.  You can often perceive someone’s age, their peer group, their political stance and even their ecological view point through their outfit.  Yet let us not forget the saying: Looks can be deceiving.  While someone may wear particularly clothing to conform to a particular group, their actions may prove otherwise.
This is the caution that Jesus is giving to the people in Matthew 23.  He sees the teachers of the law and the Pharisees preaching the right thing and wearing highly religious garb, yet their actions show love for themselves, not for God.  The phylacteries and tassels are articles they wear to show their position as religious leader.  (I must admit that I had to look up the word ‘phylactery’: a small, black, leather cube containing a piece of parchment inscribed with scripture attached with straps to the left arm and the forehead.)  It seems some leaders of the time were highlighting these two religious accessories to amplify their holiness, wherein doing so they negated themselves as humble servants to God.

Application:  Looks can be deceiving and that is why our actions must be above reproach.  People will not only look to your outer expressions of faith but they will look to your inner convictions as well.  God does not require us to wear obvious religious garments but the scriptures are full of instructions as to what should be in our hearts and how we should act to show we are Jesus’ disciples.

Prayer:  Lord, ‘no other king could have so humbly come’.  You are the perfect example of servant living.  May we strive to live as you did.  Amen.

What have you found to be the best expression of your faith to those around you? How does your church express it’s beliefs to it’s local community?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.