Friday, August 19, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When you want to represent God well

Wearing God’s Name
A devotional by Erin M. Handley

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
–Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

Sometimes I think of how funny it is that we turn scripture into clichés. Do we really mean the things that we say or are we just stating it because it is relevant and it sounds biblical and holy?

When talking about purity, it is easy to say that we should follow specific guidelines and rules of thumb when it comes to checking to see if our dress is appropriate. But are the guidelines and rules a true and accurate reflection of what our hearts believe? We are continuously told and advised to have a pure heart and mind, and that our clothes should represent what hearts feel. But how do we check our hearts to ensure that what we say is really a reflection of what we say believe?

Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts…”. A person should not be convinced to dress a certain way (or not to dress a certain way) and they do it (or do not do it) merely because they received it from someone other than the Lord. If this happens, then it simply becomes a set of rules that are being followed. These are rules that “man” has put into place.

Consider this quote by Rick Holland: “Your clothes are a loud, maybe the loudest, announcement of your of theology. When you wear something, you’re telling people what you believe about God, what you believe about purity, what you believe about holiness, what you believe about men, what you believe about pride, what you believe about clothing and what you what you believe about nakedness. You’re also telling the world what you think about your husband. If you’re not married, you’re basically saying, “I’m advertising for a husband externally.” If you are married, you are saying, “I don’t love my husband or care about the sanctity and purity of our marriage.”

One of my favorite motivational lines is: “What we do in moderation, others will do in excess.” It is a subtle reminder of how we must set the example of what modesty looks like. We must remember that to some, we are the only Bible they will ever see. Therefore, we must make sure that we are being a presentable and accurate ambassador for Jesus Christ at all times. Just as how we are responsible for others through our teaching of the Gospel to them, we are also could be responsible for them when they misunderstand the gospel because of our inconsistencies.

Think of how many times you have done what you knew was wrong or simply was not what you were supposed to do. How many times did you do it only because you saw someone else do it first? You may have thought, “Well, if they can do it and not get caught, surely I can get away with it too.” Or “She did it, so it must be okay.”

Let’s use a mirror for this next part of my message. Think of the questions and answers between yourself (it’s just you and the mirror that shows you who you are). The mirror represents what the world says it is okay to do, and you looking into the mirror, represent the Holy Spirit. 

Here’s an example of a conversation between you and the mirror…

The Mirror:
I can still bring glory to God regardless of what I wear.

You: You may be able to, but your words and your actions don’t match up, which cause more of a problem to others than it does to you.

The Mirror:
If my body is the temple, I want it to be it a fashionable temple. I don’t want people to think that because a person is a Christian that they have to look homely.

You: It doesn’t. As a matter of fact God wants us to look our best. He wants us to look our best through Him so we can continue to bring Him glory. Since God is holy and the clothes you want to wear represent what is not holy, we really want to make sure that we use our bodies and our clothes to be a reflection of the holiness of God.

The Mirror:
Of all of the things that God has to deal with, he is not thinking about the clothes that I am wearing.

You: In the same way an earthly father will “tense up” when he sees his teenage daughter wearing something inappropriate, our Heavenly Father does not like to see His daughters degrade themselves with clothing that does not bring the type of honorable attention. Remember, God loves me and my appearance regardless of what it is. The world will only accept me conditionally. 


It is important to remember that the Gospel teaches us to “come as you are” to accept Jesus Christ into your life. But that doesn’t mean that after we get to know God for ourselves, we should continue to dress inappropriately or as we please in a way that will lead people astray.

Try your best to represent your Heavenly Father well, not just in the clothes you wear but how you treat people, the choices you make and the people who you interact with on a daily basis. We’re not perfect but we have a God who is perfect. Let’s let Him lead us to check our hearts and be a reflection of Him to the world.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank You for Your guidance and love. You give us the Holy Spirit to help us stay closer to You. We pray we are receiving everything You have given us as we continue on this journey to holiness through and with You. Thank You for your unwavering love. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection #1: “Your Love Divine” by Richard Smallwood & Vision. Listen to it here.

Song of Reflection #2: “Wear Your Name” by Gylchris Sprauve. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

With an ever-growing desire to continually learn the Word of God and present teachings based on Biblical principles, Erin M. Handley is committed to her calling of teaching and inspiring others to ‘be more by doing more’. With this in mind, Erin mentors young women and appreciates seeing the growth and change in the lives she impacts. 

While she sincerely enjoys mentoring and speaking to young people, she is most passionate about educating and empowering women from various stages of life about Biblical Womanhood and how to live out those principles in today’s world.

For over 15 years, Erin has worked with youth and adolescents in the fields of mental and behavioral health, education, and ministry. When reflecting on her experiences in ministry and non-ministry settings, her most memorable encounters have been those that allowed her the opportunity to teach the Word of God in a way that is most relatable to the audience she served in that moment. She has enjoyed writing since her youth, but only recently felt the call to share her writing with the world.

With an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Ministry and Pastoral Counseling, Erin M. Handley has been fortunate to be able to leverage her gifts and her passions throughout her career in Education.

Aside from reading, writing, and mentoring, Erin enjoys dancing, interior design, cooking, and most other activities which allow her to utilize her creativity.

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