The invite comes in, the party arrives, and they come (the antler sweaters, the Santa head, the jingle bell/glitter/tinsel/elf/sleigh/snow men sweaters and so forth). So fun! Very few things make a Christmas party lively like an bunch of ugly, primary colored, shoulder-padded, ill-fitting sweaters. And that’s the whole point – they’re ugly, and everyone’s doing it – everyone looks ridiculous in a spiral of bottom-of-the-barrel humanity.
But there are some things where this concept doesn’t work – like sin. Gossip, complaints, sexuality, substances, hate, hurry, spending – to name a few. Wait, there’s a list that Paul made that sounds a lot like that 🙂 . . .
“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Rom. 13:13 NIV)
The principle for winning over sin in Scripture is not necessarily will power, although that can help at times. It’s not through being better disciplined, or hating sin worse, or making resolutions – though all of those things have a place. It’s what psychology calls “replacement thinking,” and believers have that on steroids, because we have Jesus Christ to occupy our attention.
I don’t think anyone is about to get addicted to ugly Christmas sweaters … maybe. If only that were true other areas in our life. But sin, well, that’s addictive and destructive to us, our sphere of influence, and our society. So beat sin, just like you beat an ugly sweater – wear something better – like Jesus Christ. Clothe yourself with Christ today (even if you have an ugly sweater on – haha)!