«Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness humility, meekness, longsuffering; …But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection’ (Colossians 3:12, 14).
Temperance has something to do with what we wear. Since sin entered Eden, clothing has been a topic of great importance for the human being. The biblical narration tells us that this is what happened to our first parents immediately after they sinned, «the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings» (Gen. 3:7). After such an unfavorable situation, probably our feelings regarding clothing remained linked, in a certain way, to negative and sinful factors that constantly contradict the natural desire not only of protecting the body from weather conditions but also of offering a decent and pleasant image through the way we dress. Sometimes, these mixed feelings lead the person to adopt a position regarding clothing drat can go from an uncontrolled interest to a complete disregard toward it.
In his book Obsessed by Dress, Toby Tobias gathers quotes of famous people about clothes and fashion, wondering if this obsession can be considered a vice or a virtue. In his anthology, he analyzes sayings of Virgil, Christian Dior, Mark Twain and Coco Chanel, among others, reassuring that the obsession with clothes is as old as human history itself. One of the quotes that particularly stands out is the one by French writer Anatole France, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921, who said, «Show me the clothes of a country and I can write its history.»
In fact, our clothes say a lot about us and, thus, God has left us instructions regarding them. He says, «Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person Of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God» (l Pet. 3:3, 4).
Think about this: adornments and outfits that are precious to God include simplicity, purity, and a meek and peaceful spirit. So, God’s people will not seek outward adornment but the one of the hearts. Because God said, «above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.» The same inner grace, beauty and simplicity will be reflected on your outside clothing.