The story by Hans Christian Andersen about the proud, showy emperor tells the tale of pride getting the best of a ruler who cared only about his outward appearance and the parading of his many beautiful clothes. Then, when he is swindled by two pretend weavers who feign the creating of the most beautiful clothing available, he ends up in front of all his subjects in a most vulnerable and humbling position!
The thought of a ruler showing off invisible clothing is humorous, but God’s Word speaks of things unseen that every Christian should clothe themselves in daily:
So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17
The crowd that gathered to see the emperor’s new clothes for the first time was immediately aware that something was missing … And when we do not guard what God has given us as believers, our spiritual “clothing,” others will see very quickly that we are missing something too! It may be evident in a lack of integrity, or a lack of peace. It may show up as a lack of faith or failure to obey what we know to be true from scripture. But it will always show.
Have you considered how you appear “dressed” to others spiritually? What can you do today to show the gospel to someone through your faith, integrity, courage or stability in Christ?