Signs of the times
Two young men make their way slowly down the dark and quietly eerie street. With every step they take there is a dragging sound that accompanies them. Is the sound behind them? No, it’s with them. Suddenly, there is another noise in the night. They hear deliberate, brisk footsteps behind them getting louder and louder, becoming faster and faster. They don’t know who is following them, but they know it’s time to run. Each of them taking their two hands, they grasp the top of their beltless pants and attempt to do this simple thing: run. But it’s no use, their sagging pants are binding them, dragging them down, tripping them up! The running behind them sounds like a freight train in comparison to their own slow and frustrated shuffle. One of the men trips on his pants. Falling to the ground, he cries out after his friend, “Help me!” But his companion doesn’t stop to help him. He knows he can’t slow down because he will lose even the tiny momentum he has gained. Terrified and shaking, the man on the ground looks up to find an employee from McDonald’s. “Dude, here’s your wallet. I saw it fall out of your pants as you were leaving the restaurant earlier.”
You may recall this fad where guys, mostly in the inner city, wore their pants in such a way as to expose their backsides. Believe it or not, this was a real style called, sagging. “Sagging is a manner of wearing trousers or jeans which sag so that the top of the trousers or jeans are significantly below the waist, sometimes revealing much of the underwear. Sagging is predominantly a male fashion. Noun: A person who wears sagging pants is called a sagger.” I’m sure there are many sad stories of saggers out there who got tripped up by their own poor clothing choices.
Fashion or Foolishness?
When we look to culture to dictate what we wear, what we say, and how we believe, we set ourselves up for looking foolish. Sagging is not cool, and it’s not fashion. It’s foolishness. And to think this whole style failure could be fixed by a little thing called a belt.
Get a Belt
“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth….” (Eph. 6:13-14)
Notice the first piece of armor that we are to put on is the “belt of truth.” Why is that? Maybe it’s because the belt is a foundational piece of the armor that other parts of the armor connect to. For example, if we forget our belt, how will we carry our sword (of the Spirit)? Without a solid foundation of truth, how will we stand firm against the voices of our culture, or resist in the evil day? In the absence of a belt that wraps around our lives, how will we run this race that is set before us with integrity, freedom, and stability?
Truth is a person
In the Bible, we are told to know the truth, speak the truth, walk in truth, hold to the truth, love in truth, contend for the truth, seek the truth, worship in truth, obey the truth, and abide in the truth. Clearly, truth is incredibly important in the Kingdom of God. Herod asked this question of Jesus: “What is truth?” But He was asking the wrong question. You see, Truth isn’t a what, it’s a who. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
What if, in the spiritual realm, because we don’t have the belt of truth securely fastened around our minds, we look foolish just like those people with baggy pants that shuffle through the city streets? What if we’re so busy trying to hold up our own spiritual pants, that we can’t run the spiritual race effectively?
Without the spiritual foundation of the truth of God’s Word (the Bible) and Jesus Himself, we are leaving ourselves exposed and vulnerable to be deceived by the devil and by our culture.
Do you hear a dragging sound? Are you getting tripped up by a society filled with fear and lies? If we’re not careful, we might find ourselves trying to run away when no one is pursuing us.
At the end of the day, God’s advice to us is the same advice we want to give to those saggers: “Get a belt!”
Thanks so much for reading!