Does it matter what you wear?
Throughout the history of our TEA Parties and conferences, we have always adhered to a specific theme. Whether it was statement t-shirts, color coordination, or even Christmas pajamas, we always had a predetermined dress code. However, a few years ago, I began to question the necessity of this concept. I never wanted to give the impression that our gatherings were mere fashion shows. As an overthinker, I took the time to reflect on why we implemented these themes and whether or not we should continue with them. The resounding message I received was that "how you show up matters."
Then, I was led to study this scripture:
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:11-14)
In this parable of the wedding feast, a man was thrown out for not wearing the appropriate attire. Initially, I found this punishment to be rather extreme. After all, if you read the full parable you would see that he was one of the few who had at least shown up, unlike those who didn't come at all. But it became clear that it wasn't solely about showing up; it was also about being in alignment with the purpose of the event.
Now, picture this: You're hosting an all-white party and you've invited all your friends. You've put in a lot of effort to ensure that everything is perfectly aligned with the theme. The decorations, the ambiance, the food, everything. Your only request is that everyone wears white. But then, there's that one friend who shows up without giving any thought to your request. They think they're doing you a favor just by showing up. As the host, you can't help but feel hurt and disregarded, right?!
I believe this is what God is trying to convey to us through this text. Yes, we are called, but it's not enough to simply show up. God desires our whole hearts and minds restyled, dressed in faith, love, and hope. He wants us to be fully engaged and aligned with the purpose and intentions behind the call. Merely going through the motions without genuine commitment falls short of what He desires from us.
Each season of life comes with its own dress code. You can do the bare minimum or you can do the most.
Sometimes, it's tempting to settle for doing the bare minimum. We might think, "Well, at least I go to church," or "At least I don't cheat," or "At least I clocked in for work." We compare ourselves to those who do less or nothing at all. But mediocrity should never be our standard.
The distinction between being called and being chosen is often determined by one's willingness to change. It's comparable to the difference between those who simply show up for the interview and those who put in additional effort to get hired. Your ability to transition from being called to being chosen lies in the intent behind your actions and the readiness to adapt to your next.
What am I saying? Let's stop just showing up. Put some thought into where you are going.
This is not to suggest that you should rush out and buy the most expensive things available. Honestly, if you think I'm just talking about clothes, I promise you missed it. You have to change your mind in order to change your clothes. You have to change how you see yourself and how you see the destination. It involves embracing the dress code of the next season of your life, symbolizing your commitment and alignment with God's plan. Taking your call seriously means humbling yourself and accepting the expectations placed upon you, rather than attempting to redefine them to suit your preferences. Change is a prerequisite for change.
Don't show up to a pool party without your bathing suit; don't step onto the battlefield without your armor. Likewise, don't enter a relationship without love, and don't answer your calling without faith. Do you look like what you’re going through or going to? This is what distinguishes the called from the chosen.
P.S. I’ll be talking about this more on IG Live this Thursday at 7 EST. Set your clock and meet me @tabithasteaparty
Next in-person TEA Party happening in ATL. Register here.
Love, Peace, and TEA!
- Ebony King