This clothing metaphor for a changed life is the Bible’s way of getting at a perplexing truth: even the most religious devotee of the Christian faith throws up their hands in frustration that their devotion continues to fall short. In a spiritual sense, they find themselves scantily clad with garments reflecting fear, lust, greed, anger, bitterness. It feels like their thoughts and actions are changing at a mere snail’s pace — if that! They can relate to George MacDonald, who wrote this prayer: “Lord, I have fallen again — a human clod! Selfish I was, and heedless to offend. Stood on my rights. Thy own child would not send away his shreds of nothing for the whole God.”

The Bible suggests being a Christian is as simple as putting on the garments that have been purchased for you, shipped to your door, and handed to you. Just put them on!

But why does it never seem that simple?

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