Red-Dress Christians

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

I was a senior in college when I learned an important lesson about confidence. It was a lesson I learned not in a classroom but at a bus stop.

Most of my clothes were inexpensive, and many were older. But my then-boyfriend, whose family had means, took me shopping and bought me a $60 red dress by Jonathan Martin to wear for a special occasion (a big deal in the early ‘80s). And the dress indeed made me feel special.

It was a regular school day, which meant I hopped between multiple classes in my 18-hour load and also between two jobs, one of which was at the school newspaper office. It was an Ohio spring and was finally warm enough to wear light long sleeves without a sweater or jacket.

I decided to wear the dress that day, even though it was an ordinary day, because I wanted to feel the way that dress made me feel. And I decided that morning that, despite my mountainous heap of insecurities and lack of self-esteem, I would carry myself in a manner befitting the dress.

It was the end of my day, and for whatever reason I was waiting for a bus instead of walking back to my apartment. As I stood at the bus stop in front of the student center, a young man approached me.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“Excuse me?” I said. The look on his face made me believe his question was sincere and not a feeble attempt at a hit.

“Who are you? You have everyone looking at you.” (Now there’s a truly mortifying thought for an introvert.)

I told him I was just a student and an editor at the school newspaper. He didn’t believe me. He remained convinced I was hiding a loftier truth. He sat next to me on the bus, though he had intended to go the opposite way, to try to pry the truth from me. If he knew I’m a terrible liar I could have spared him the trouble.

What I learned was that people can see the image you try to project. If I walked around feeling insecure, they would sense that. If I walked around exuding confidence, that came through loud and clear.

And all that because of a red dress (which I still own, by the way).

Here I am, all these years later, a blood-bought child of God who will reign with the Lord (2 Timothy 2:12) and is seated in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). The King of Kings and Lord of Lords has made me His co-heir (Romans 8:17), and I have unfettered, eternal access to Him provided I abide in Him.

So here’s the question: When will I learn to walk in the confidence that I have in my Lord? When will I carry myself as a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords? When will people not only hear that I am a follower of Jesus but also see my faith demonstrated in my countenance and my actions?

When will I become a red-dress Christian? And when will you?

When will we carry ourselves with confidence that our Lord does all things for our good and His glory? That He is sovereign and faithful and all-powerful and good and merciful and never asleep at the wheel?

We must walk in the confidence of who He is and who we are in Him. Remember His promises.

He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Nothing shall separate us from His love (Romans 8:38).

His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Our God shall meet all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

He shall complete the good work that He has begun in us until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

He uses all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37).

No weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

He is able to save completely those who come to God through Jesus because He lives always to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25).

So put on your your most prized red dress – the one that reminds you that you’re covered with the precious atoning blood of Jesus – and walk in God-confidence. And be aware the world is watching.