Prom season is here! Time to shop for a knock-em-dead dress.
Maybe you’re looking for a stunning dress in a fiery red. Or perhaps you want an elegant blue gown with a long, flowing skirt. Maybe your ideal dress is sleeveless and ruched. Or the gown of your dreams has a million sequins.
Every girl wants a gown that will turn heads and make people sit up and take notice. Now there’s nothing wrong with looking your best. Nothing wicked about wearing something pretty. Go ahead and shop for the most beautiful gown you can find (and afford).
The trouble comes when we try to dress up our hearts in a fancy gown. The problem happens when we feel we have to beautify our souls in order to come to God.
I know because I’ve tried. I’ve attempted to make my own ball gown to get God to notice me, to like me, to accept me. I have tried to impress Him with good grades and good deeds. I’ve tried to amaze Him with fancy words and fancy accomplishments.
But it turns out that God doesn’t care about fancy. He doesn’t really notice upscale. He simply wants me to come to Him as I am. He sees plain, old, ordinary me and loves me. He invites this common girl to dance with the Prince—King Jesus.
Remember how Cinderella couldn’t go to the ball without a gown? The opposite is true in God’s kingdom. I’ve discovered that the ball gown of pride in my own efforts prevents me from getting into the celebration of God’s grace. With all those layers of self-importance, I can’t even get through the door of God’s mercy. When I’m wearing the gown of my own accomplishments, I don’t see my desperate need for God’s forgiveness.
But when I ditch the fancy gown and simply come to Him as I am, I discover that the One I’ve been so desperately trying to impress has been holding out His hands to me all along. The Prince Himself has been inviting me to dance through life with Him. Jesus has been waiting to forgive my sins and cover over my mistakes. Waiting to listen to my problems, hear about my heartaches and be a part of my life.
To get into God’s kingdom, God doesn’t demand an elegant gown. It’s the Cinderella story in reverse—He wants us to wear the tattered dress of authenticity. He doesn’t ask us to dress our souls in something posh and extravagant—He asks us to wear humility:
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Sometimes we think we have to make a ball gown of fancy words and fancy accomplishments to get God to like us. But when we peel off the made-to-impress dress, God comes close. He transforms us with a new gown woven in grace and humility. He holds out His hand and invites us to celebrate life with Him.
So shop for that stunning prom dress to wow them at the big dance.
But come as you are to the God who loves you and makes you beautiful in Him.
Written by Sharla Fritz, author of Divine Makeover: God Makes You Beautiful, a book and Bible study that explores the character qualities God uses for a makeover of the heart. Learn how God can refashion your self-esteem and your trust in Him even while you’re having fun with fashion tips.
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