What Are You Wearing?

I recently purchased a book for my son that my mother used to read to my younger brother and me when we were young. It’s called The Emperor’s New Clothes, and it’s a story about an emperor who is persuaded by two “tailors” into having clothes made for him out of a special, one-of-a-kind material that they are able to weave. The problem is, this unique cloth doesn’t actually exist. The two men are really con artists that have schemed up a plan to swindle the emperor out of his money and ensure that the townsfolk let them get away with it. They have convinced the entire town that this woven cloth is distinct because only those who are wise and fit for their jobs can see it.

The story progresses to the point where the emperor parades around in his new “clothes” for everyone within his kingdom to admire. At first, the town is shocked that they can’t see the emperor’s apparel. Nonetheless, since no one wants to be thought of as a fool unfit for his job, the whole town pretends to see the new garments, loudly voicing admiration for the ruler’s outfit as he passes by.

Finally, the emperor parades past a little boy, who loudly blurts out what everyone else has been afraid to admit all along—that the emperor is not wearing any clothes at all! He has been parading around in his underwear this whole time! As the now-emboldened crowd begins to voice agreement with the young boy, who can neither be considered a fool nor unfit for a job at such a young age, the emperor flees to his palace, bright red from embarrassment.

Although I do not remember much of the story beyond this point as a child, the one I bought for my son ends on a happy note. The emperor is able to capture the thieves and recover his stolen money. He also thanks the boy for his honesty, recognizing how he has been spared from further scams and embarrassment as a result. In the end, this vain ruler has learned a valuable lesson from the boy, which is to always be honest, no matter what.

My younger brother and I loved this story as children and always gleefully giggled at the emperor’s embarrassment. His short-lived predicament never ceased to amuse our young minds. Although we were little when my mom read us this book, I always had a good understanding of how outlandish the story was, which was perhaps why I so readily laughed at the emperor instead of feeling sorry for him. I knew in real life that no one could fall for such an absurd scheme. Or so I thought.

Over thirty years later, as I find myself living in a very different day of age, I’m beginning to think that this children’s story was not so outlandish after all. As absurd as the scheme was in The Emperor’s New Clothes, we are seeing similar absurdities in our society today. And just like the townsfolk believed they would look foolish or unfit for their jobs if they told the truth, our society would have us believe that we are fools that are perhaps unfit for society itself if we dare to speak the truth rather than going along with worldly schemes.

The truth is, this world is in worse condition than the emperor ever was. Caught up in deception, it drapes itself in human wisdom and sophistication, deafening its ears to the truth that even a small child can see to opt for its own ideas of self-perception. As time goes by, these actions and attitudes have become even more prevalent as deception continues to weave itself into the fabric of our society and cause many to think erroneously. But let’s not allow the wool to be pulled over our own eyes, my friends. Worldly wisdom will never amount to real wisdom, for true wisdom comes from God alone.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”

1 Corinthians 3:19a

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 2:6

Though worldly wisdom may be admired and applauded in our time, everyone will ultimately see that it amounted to nothing in the end. It was just a deceptive scheme, and those who paraded around in it were only exposing themselves in shame. Woe to them!

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Isaiah 5:20-21

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

Romans 1:18

Let us therefore dress differently than this world, forsaking earthly comfort and popularity.

Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Romans 13:12

God has given us the apparel needed to live victoriously in this day of age. He has provided us and commands us to put on His armor, which includes fastening His belt of truth and girding His breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:13-17), so let’s put on the full armor of God and prepare for the battle at hand.

As it is, we were never meant to take part in any worldly “fashion show” or to seek the approval of man (Gal. 1:10). So, let’s suit up and prepare for practical living in this present day. Moreover, let’s take what the emperor learned to heart, because honesty still is (and will always be) the best policy, and above all else, God’s truth will prevail.

18 thoughts on “What Are You Wearing?”

  1. I love this post and your reminder to not get caught up in the deception of the world that is far from God’s truth and way.
    I remember the story of the emperor’s new clothes from when I was young too.
    That verse from Isaiah, I read it yesterday and to read it again in your post today was a wonderful reminder.
    Blessings to you Colleen 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so fun that this book was a part of your childhood too. Did you laugh like my brother and I did? We were so immature! Lol! I love it when the same verses or Biblical themes keep showing up in my own life. It makes me think that God is really trying to emphasize them to me. God bless you, Manu!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool! When I was telling my mom about this, she said she had been thinking about how life was like that story too. Btw, I really enjoyed your latest post. I am definitely understanding more of God’s mercy in light of His righteousness and the fact that He tarries. Love, hugs, and blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! I love your analogy. I too loved the children’s story The Emporer’s New Clothes. Deception abounds. There are some naked folks walking around thinking they have the finest clothes. Praying for eyes to be opened. Thank you Colleen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, me too. I’m definitely understanding more of God’s mercy in this day of age and how He desires that none should perish. May eyes be opened quickly! Thanks for reading, Meghan! Blessings to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the analogy. Although I’ve never read the story (living in Germany as a little tyke it did not cross my path), it absolutely fits into todays culture. We would rather keep silent than make a noise, caring more what others may think of us instead of speaking the truth.
    Matt 21:16 Out of the mouth of babes…..they tell it like it is because they haven’t been jaded by the world, yet.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “And just like the townsfolk believed they would look foolish or unfit for their jobs if they told the truth, our society would have us believe that we are fools that are perhaps unfit for society itself if we dare to speak the truth rather than going along with worldly schemes.”

    ☝️ This is something I’ve been feeling but have had a hard time putting to words. It seems that even normal questions are not “allowed” or you get suspended/cancelled/banned. I was wondering if it was just me, so I’m glad I found this blog. Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s a hard time to live in, but God is still our shield and defense. Someday all will see the truth, and we’ll be glad we stood firm. So glad to have you reading this blog! May God bless, strengthen, and encourage you in these strange times.

      Liked by 1 person

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