Wear the uniform

I spent my youth to young adulthood taking great pride in putting on athletic uniforms. Oddly, my sock requirements were unusually important and specific. In baseball, I had to have the high stirrup socks. Anything else was unacceptable. In basketball I wore over-the-calf white tube socks (maybe with stripes). Don’t judge, this was the mid-80s. In football, I preferred short socks, but required spats; this is tape applied over the shoes to provide ankle support. Mainly, I just thought it looked cool.

The uniform was essential because it identified me with my team. In fact, I would not have been allowed to take the diamond, field, or court without it. I could not have participated if I didn’t have the required attire. I would have been left out.

Peter has a much more important uniform in mind with his spirit-inspired words from 1 Peter 1:14-16.

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Peter is describing a holy uniform. Unfortunately, this uniform did not fit me at birth. You see, I was born sinful. I was born to choose me over God. I have been bred over millennia to worship me, not God. My birth day battle cry was “Independence or die!”, tiny fists clenched and jaw set in bitter resolve.

However, once I recognized my sin and called on Jesus as my only savior, I changed my daily uniform to holiness. Holiness means that our obedience to God sets us apart from the world’s self-serving, self-worshiping standards.

Wear the uniform, friend. It will fit you perfectly and, as Paul described in his letter to the church in Ephesus, you will then be equipped with the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Oh, and I don’t think your sock choice is all that important!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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