Hawaiian Shirts: Hawaii, Here We Come! Part 6

by | May 23, 2024 | Hawaii, Here We Come!, New Life, Sanctification

One of the things I expected to see in Hawaii was Hawaiian shirts. And I did see plenty of them. Just not in the places I thought I would see them…

It makes sense, right? It’s called a “Hawaiian shirt”, therefore you should see plenty of them on the backs of the indigenous people of Hawaii, right? However, the multitude of Hawaiian shirt that I saw were not on the backs of the native people. Rather, they were on the back of tourists, and tourist shops abounded with them…

I have to admit that the first time I saw a perfectly white-skinned person wearing a Hawaiian shirt, I did a double take. And when the next person I saw with one was an African-American, I did another double take. And a third when I saw that the next person wearing a Hawaiian shirt was of Asian descent. But when I really got suspicious was when each of the people sporting these Hawaiian shirts were walking with someone wearing the exact same cloth – either in another Hawaiian shirt or in a muumuu…. Yup. These were very obviously tourists… Now I’m not saying that the native people of Hawaii don’t ever wear Hawaiian shirts or muumuus, but it was very obvious that they weren’t the only ones sporting these icons of the Hawaiian islands!

As Christians, we also have “traditional” clothing. The Bible teaches that we are clothed in Christ: “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27 NIV). I think most of us are familiar with how to put on a Hawaiian shirt… But how does one clothe themselves with Christ?

Colossians gives us some clues: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12-13 NIV). In other words, when we put on compassion, kindness, humility, etc, when we forgive one another, we are putting on Christ!

Now those things are not only less expensive than the Hawaiian shirts in the tourist shops, but they are also available to everyone who is a follower of Christ! Just like so many non-Hawaiian people were wearing Hawaiian shirts, every one of us becomes eligible to “wear Christ” as soon as we accept Him into our hearts!

The problem is, this type of spiritual clothing isn’t exactly easy to put on… It is only by the daily help of God that we can even hope to come close to doing that. The good news, though, is that He does help us. He is our provision for everything: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV). Now you may have always thought that this was referring to needs such as food and water and clothing; but the verse itself does not limit itself to that. It says “all”! Therefore, whether our need is compassion or love or patience, He will give it to us when we ask!

A sad thing is that so many of us proclaim Christianity; yet we don’t “wear Christ”. Compassion, humility, patience, forgiveness, etc. are not evident in our lives. Have we “bought” our salvation from a “tourist shop”? Have we signed up for the “salvation” part of being a follower of Jesus, and ignored the “clothe yourselves with Christ” part? If we have, then we are no better than the “wolves” Jesus warned about: “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15 NIV)

I don’t know about you, but as a Christian, I want to wear Christ. May we all ask God today to be our provision for the type of spiritual “clothing” that we truly need, so that the world will be able to identify immediately that we are Children of the Most High God!

Inspired by Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries

(To access the entire “Hawaii, Here We Come!” devotional series, please click here!)

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Hawaiian Shirts: Hawaii, Here We Come! Part 6

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