Tee Shirts June 10 2016

I am an observer of T-shirts - especially the ones that seem to convey messages from the wearer.  Summer seems to bring out the best (and worst) of T-shirt fashion.  

Many of the T-shirts are about loyalties and favorites:  college attended, sports teams, vacation places, musical groups, and so on.  Others reflect personal characteristics that people, amazingly, seem unembarrassed to convey.  Here are a few I’ve observed recently.  
  • “Sarcasm: Just one of my many talents”
  • “Be glad I’m not a twin”
  • “I didn’t choose the thug life, it chose me”
  • “Sorry, not everyone can be me”
  • “I’m not argumentative, I’m just right”
Maybe they are intended to be humorous, but one must wonder what the wearers of these T-shirts are really like and what they think about themselves.  If there is any redeeming value in these T-shirt messages, it is that they are consistent with what you can expect from the behavior of the ones wearing them.  But what is many times worse is someone wearing a Christian message and then acting like the phrases on the T-shirts listed above.  It’s not just bad advertising, but a prime example of what Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount as hypocrisy (Matthew 7:5).  

The Apostle Paul writes about the right kind of advertising.  He writes about a true life message in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3:  

“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”  

As believers even today, we are “known and read by all men.”  We have to expect to be watched, examined, and evaluated to see if our walk is consistent with our spiritual T-shirt (i.e. our talk).  Conclusions can be drawn very quickly from what many people think of as small, insignificant actions.  

For example, few days ago I was coming out of a restaurant and a young man (my guess is about 12 years old) held the door open for me.  And I wasn’t right behind him either.  He had to wait a bit for me to get there.  I was impressed, because it seemed for him to be the natural thing to do.  He wasn’t wearing a T-shirt, but if he had one, for all intents and purposes it could have read “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

You may see some wild T-shirt messages on people’s clothing this summer, but let’s remember that we are always displaying our spiritual T-shirts.  We are indeed known and read by all men; and that’s a good thing, because it is the opportunity for others to see our life message.  Just think: God has chosen us to be a letter of Christ to the world!  That’s pretty amazing, and also a humbling responsibility.   May the Lord help us display our life T-shirt messages in a way that honors Him.  

If you would like to contribute to my ongoing collection of T-shirt examples, send me an email at blog@bcfministries.org with any interesting “life-message” T-shirts you see this summer, either good or bad.  Depending on what we get, we’ll post the ones that help us see the significance of the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:2-3.  

If you have questions about this or other blog posts, please e-mail blog@bcfministries.org.  You may also subscribe to the blog by emailing that address and put “Subscribe to blog” in the subject line.  If you need general information about BCF, you can access our home page at www.bcfministries.org.  

Steve Smith