Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What is Your Attire?

Ever wonder what your clothes say about you?

Many years ago, when fresh out of high school, I entered the workforce, the mega-big insurance company I was then employed with, insisted on a code of dress policy to be adhered to by every employee. Men had to wear suits and ties. Women had to wear dresses or skirts (and pantyhose even in the hot and humid summer) or pant suits. No matter we never saw clients in the office building, we were obligated to dress professionally, to project professionalism and success.

Later, when I worked for a trucking firm, my employer tried to whittle down my self-worth and she almost succeeded until I figured out if I dressed professionally, I'd act professionally, and would successfully battle down her assault on my emotions. It worked because my suits communicated--loud and clear--to me and my employer that I was professional and would remain unmoved in her attacks.

When I did a short stint with Mary Kay Cosmetics, the Director of our unit said, to paraphrase her, "Dress successfully, even if you're not; portray the right image at all times." I took her words to heart when I was called up for jury selection a number of years back. I wore suits every day. While the Crown Attorneys wanted me on the jury, the Defense never did. I must have projected a powerful image, that I would not be easily swayed.

All these years later, I still have the dress code firmly etched in my mind. Even now, when I attend a writer's group meeting or conference or participate in a book signing, I dress professionally. Portraying the right image is embedded in me. My desire is to demonstrate the professional, proficient person that I am so people will have confidence in me and in my work.

Experts admonish us to dress for success. They instruct us if we look "perfect," we will land our "dream" job. I'm sure there is validity to this comment but can we take this beyond the physical and worldly? To the spiritual? My daily devotions challenged me.

The Apostle Paul tells us to "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature." (Romans 13:14 NIV)

To clothe myself with Jesus, I need to adopt His whole lifestyle. I need to live as He lived. Allow Him to be my Guide and Example. And I need to show Christ's grace, love, and goodness on the outside--something that has already taken place inside my heart.

If I wear Christ, I will be not just a faithful follower, but a successful witness, also. And, as an author, I want my novels to be clothed with Jesus' love. It's not about me. Never me. It's about reflecting the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Bless!

1 comment:

Linda Wegner said...

Hello Ann:

I loved your blog. Moving from the city to a rural area where dressing up means putting on a clean pair of jeans requires a deliberate choice to maintain that professional standard. Thanks for those words of encouragement!

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