Ambassadors: The All-Important Element of Clothing

(This is the seventh in a series of entries drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ)

Soon after Ambassador Grew arrived in Japan, the Chinese Ambassador came to visit him. The problem was that the Chinese ambassador wore a rather formal outfit. Ambassador Grew wrote that he was stumped in relation as to what he should wear when he returned the visit to the Chinese ambassador. As Ambassador Grew was writing about his various choices and why each choice would or wouldn’t be appropriate, he wrote that clothing was “that all-important element of diplomacy.”

I wonder how often we, as ambassadors for Christ think about our clothing in relation to being His ambassador? How often would we consider it to be one of the most important elements of our representation of Christ?

Scripture is full of information relating to how we are to dress. Ambassador Grew’s concern had nothing to do with comfort, style, or convenience — his whole concern was what was appropriate and proper.

Do we think there are ever times when it would be okay for an ambassador to dress improperly in public – say for comfort, fashion, convenience, or to draw attention to one’s body? The obvious answer would be “no.”

But, what if it was just a quick errand? Or perhaps a time of exercise? Or what about doing some type of physical labor?

If an ambassador is not able to appropriately represent his country through proper clothing at a specific event, the bottom line is that the ambassador would choose not to attend or participate in the event. Anytime an ambassador steps into public, the clothes that he wears ARE a representation of his country.

The focus of these posts is simply to draw analogies, so I don’t have time to exhaustively reference every Scripture which gives insight into clothing. However, I will go ahead and list a few Scriptures you may find helpful if you were to study this area.

Importance of dressing modestly and not in a worldly fashion:

1 Timothy 2:9: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.

The danger of being a friend with the world; clothing is a medium through which we could identify with the world:

James 4:4: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

What about the principle of not defrauding others through our dress? We see that in the ten commandments we are commanded not to covet or lust after others or things, but it says nothing about us dressing in such a way that would lend itself towards another coveting us – or does it?? I find it fascinating that when Jesus was quoting some of the commandments to the rich young ruler, he expanded the application of coveting to include causing another to covet (by defrauding them):

Mark 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

Clothing is a key part of being an ambassador. God’s instruction for us to be His Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) is yet another reminder to us that we are to dress appropriately, properly, modestly, and as His representatives! Romans 14:4-5 shares that each of us is directly accountable to God and that we must be fully persuaded that we are living as He would have us live. Which is why we are to study to show yourself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15).

Every time we step out of our homes, may we each evaluate what we are wearing. My prayer is that our clothing would appropriately represent the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Christ,

9 thoughts on “Ambassadors: The All-Important Element of Clothing”

  1. Thankyou for this post. I think that proper clothing is always in the back of my mind. What we wear speaks loudly about what we believe whether we like it or not. Here I am in my old, comfy jeans, a wrinkly t-shirt, and dirty tennis shoes, ready to go out on a short shopping trip. After reading your post, I think I will return to my closet for something better to wear. Thankyou.

    I know your family is very busy, but an exhaustive reference to every Scripture which gives insight into clothing would be appreciated. Maybe you could publish a small booklet with them.

  2. As a Christian mother of two girls I appreciate these types of blog posts influencing the blogosphere. I encourage my girls to dress appropriately and modestly in a world more concerned with what’s “in”. It will be a good tool to introduce the role we have as Ambassadors for Christ in this world. To be in the world and not of it. To be unafraid of making a stand. To do what is right in the eyes of God and not man. Thank you Christopher for this excellent teaching series on how to be an Ambassador. I look forward to the next installment!

  3. Thank you Christopher for this message that I so needed today.God’s timing is perfect!(Details in e-mail sent to your parents).
    I so agree and we need to encourage each other in this most important and privileged work – Ambassadors for Christ!
    I hadn’t read any of your entries up until this point,but I’m going to go back and read them.
    God Bless.

  4. Excellent post! We have two small daughters and it’s amazing to us the styles of clothing for adults, let alone CHILDREN! This is why I make a large percentage of what we wear.


  5. I so agree.

    Isn’t it also true that our clothing is just as important while at home? I believe what we wear around home (“when no one is watching”) is just as vital to consider.

    Thanks for sharing.
    It is so very true, especialy when one considers what it impresses on the hearts of those who are most important to us, our family. It was a bit beyond the scope of the analogy and I suspect that is why Christopher didn’t include it.

  6. We have so enjoyed these Christopher! We read them during a meal time and have wonderful discussions afterwards with the children. Thank you for taking your time to write them. I do hope there are some more! 🙂
    And Maxwell Family, I DID make the pumpkin dessert Monday night for supper (don’t worry…I made some food too to go with it 🙂 ), and it was wonderful! I cut the pieces small (well, Daniel and I got a little bit bigger of a piece) so we had enough for a treat for the next day too. Everyone LOVED it and asked if I could make it instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It is so similar to the recipe that I use to have. I think the only difference that I can remember is the other recipe had crushed walnuts mixed in the crust and sprinkled on top so it had a bit of a crunch to it. But this was so yummy! We really enjoyed it!

  7. I was so glad to read this, as the weather here has gotten to the 40’s in the morning and I was thinking about wearing some pants while jogging (before daylight). After reading it, yes, I was wearing pants UNDER my jumper :).

Comments are closed.