The Old Prom Dress

The dress became a real life illustration to me of my sin nature. The old man (my sin-loving state) was that old prom dress and the person I was now was changed and new.

Written by Jesse Berden

Every year in the Dolls ministry, we have a three to four day conference in
August where the new officers of our middle & high school chapters come to receive training in their roles as officers. We train them how to be leaders to their peers and carry out ministry on their campuses.

On the last night of Conference, we have an event called Faux Prom. We
serve the girls dinner and have a night of dancing and fun after several days of cramming as much teaching and equipping as we can in such a short time. It was my first year at 5 Main Conference – my first time volunteering – and I was excited to attend and had even dug out my prom dress from when I was in high school. I remember feeling so pretty in that two-piece dress back in junior year and thinking how great it would be to get some more use out of it. I hadn’t changed in size at all so I was certain it would still fit.

I wore that dress and spent the night feeling so insecure and uncomfortable
that I eventually headed back to the cabin in tears. The dress hadn’t  hanged at all, but the woman who wore it, had. It still fit me physically, but no longer fit who I was and what I was comfortable wearing anymore.

Then, I didn’t take much thought to adorning myself in righteousness rather
than clothing that revealed too much; this time around, I was a woman saved by grace and I no longer felt comfortable in that dress.

The dress became a real life illustration to me of my sin nature. The old man (my sin-loving state) was that old prom dress and the person I was now was changed and new. My pastor once said that, “Our sins are to be discarded and put away like an old, stinky, filthy garment. It is no longer suitable and fitting for you. You don’t want to put it back on.” (Lynn Kahler)

Much like the dress that night, I never want to put that old self back on.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is through these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices. (Colossians 3:5-9). Because I’m a new person in Christ and have been given new life in Him, my old sinful ways are no longer suitable for the person I am today.

Those who are under God’s grace have been set free from the bondage they
once had to sin. Does that mean we no longer sin or experience temptation? By no means! “The flesh will continually dangle the garments of the old, sinful self before the new man and continually urge him to put them on.” (John MacArthur Study Bible) Our indwelling sin nature still lingers but we now have the freedom and desire to do what God wants.

All throughout our lives, we will be in a continual state of putting off the old
nature and putting on Jesus Christ. We must constantly guard against our sinful urges and be serious about killing our sin.

In my daily life, this will mean that I’m regularly confessing my sin to God and reminding myself of His word & truth. I need to regularly study His word so I know what the truth really is and I’m actively working to take captive my thoughts and set my thoughts on things above. Now, the garment I most want to wear is the perfect righteousness of Christ.