Room to Grow
“Dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.” – Romans 13:14
As a boy, when I went shopping for clothes with my mother, she would always ask me to try on items that were about a size too large to fit me perfectly. If the jeans I tried on were a bit long, she considered them just right because they left me “room to grow.” Until I grew into them, I could fold the pant legs at the bottom—not much of a fashion statement, to be sure, but at least that way I wouldn’t need another pair of jeans quite so soon.
Wearing clothes that don’t fit perfectly can make you look and feel foolish at times, but it is also a statement to the world that you intend and expect to continue growing. It is not a fashion statement. It is an aspirational statement.
That is how I understand the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Romans: “Dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ.” He is asking the Romans to assume some of the qualities of Christ, to wear them as they would a new set of clothes.
That’s quite a charge. When I dress myself with Jesus, I can feel like that boy who is trying to wear an outfit that is at least a size too large. Not only do I feel awkward, I can even look a bit silly.
Then I remember my mother insisting that it is important to leave “room to grow.” What causes me to trip all over myself today allows for the possibility for growth. I put on Jesus as I would a new and ill-fitting outfit—in order that someday it might fit and be a fitting expression of whom I have become.
Thank you, Jesus, for leaving me room to grow. Now, please, provide the growth. Amen.