Dress for Success
As Easter approaches we should be sure totake time to prepare our souls. And what better way to prepare than to consider the great gift we have been given—the gift of eternal life paid for by the blood of our Lord. This is not just a gift for the future, but a gift for us now as well, and it should have a tremendous impact on our lives. This was poignantly expressed sixteen centuries ago by St. John Chrysostom (somewhat paraphrased):
As Christians, are we recognizable by our gait, our look, our garb, and our voice? Too often the ways we do stand out are not owing to our holiness. We should not be obnoxious, but kind. We should not be miserly, but generous. We should not be dour, but joyful.
Our lives should be beacons to others. But, to quote Chrysostom, when we do not even shed light on ourselves, how are others to know that we are believers? And if we are no different from unbelievers, then of what value is our belief? If knowing Christ has had such little power to change our lives, then what do we have to offer to a dying world?
We are called to be different. We are called to be holy. We must remember that piety and holiness rarely come upon a person instantly and remain there. Like fine wines we often take a long time to mature. This is why Lent does not begin on Good Friday but many weeks before. It takes time to prepare our souls to adequately come face to face with the risen Lord. It takes time to change our gait, our look, our garb, and our voice. It takes time to shed enough light on our own soul to see the image of God in it. It takes time, on our knees, alone with God. Let us make the most of the time we have this Lenten season.
Thomas S. Buchanan is a member of the Orthodox Church and lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and three children.
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“Dress for Success” first appeared in the Winter 1996 issue of Touchstone. If you enjoyed this article, you'll find more of the same in every issue.
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