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DEVOTIONS FOR MEN
There are many reasons why certain jobs require specific clothes. Many of them are practical reasons. The scrubs most medical workers wear are durable, comfortable, and easy to clean--and they easily distinguish them from anyone needing their care. Firefighters' uniforms share these same basic characteristics and add fire resistance, reflective tape, and wide-brimmed protective helmets.
Many uniforms are also symbolic. Almost every aspect of military and police uniforms mean something--and even the way they must be maintained represents their wearers' values. To wear a uniform--any uniform--implies that you are part of the group that uniform represents. To wear a uniform implies that you have done whatever that group requires for membership, that you are capable of doing whatever members of that group are typically capable of doing, and that you are somehow in touch with the rest of that group should backup be required. Costumes, however, are all about the wearer, not about a group.
Costumes are usually worn out of respect or honor (the way little boys love to dress up like soldiers, policemen, firefighters, cowboys, and superheroes), but they never look like the real thing, no matter how realistic they are. Other costumes are worn to express derision or prejudice, or simply as a disguise. No matter why they are being worn, however, costumes only speak of the costume wearer, not of whomever the costumes represent.
Don't miss this distinction in Ephesians 4, where Paul is clearly explaining how believers are to live out their faith, how "the mystery of Christ" changes their identity from the inside out, and they truly become part of God's family. Not only that, choosing each day to "put on the uniform" and "do the job" (see v. 22-25 especially) we can grow up and become even more like Christ (see v 14-16). Using Paul's metaphor, believers "putting on" the old, sinful nature is like wearing a costume--or worse, wearing the uniform of the enemy. Our identities have changed. On the other hand, "putting on Christ" becomes a daily ritual of donning the uniform that represents our new identity, our new role, our new team, and our new commanding Officer. Read Ephesians 5-6 in this light, and see if it doesn't open up some brand new things for you--no matter how familiar this passage may seem.