Do you recall the old story?
Hans Christian Anderson wrote a memorable story about an Emperor’s vanity.
The garments were supposed to be only visible to those who were highly intelligent or very capable to do their job.
So, when no one could see them, they were tricked into believing it was a lack of ability on their own part.
Of course these invisible garments were a hoax.
The men posing as taylors got off with the money and the Emperor got swindled.
The Lord pointed out a incredible truth I’d never seen before.
The Emperor’s clothes were invisible, but the buttons which fastened them on are clearly seen.
From the very beginning the Emperor is easily caught by his pride, his fear, and his secret insecurity.
Each of those traits were used by his enemy to trick him, trap him, and eventually lead him into public disgrace.
If the Emperor wasn’t concerned about keeping up his appearance.
Being the guy with the enviable style.
Putting a high value in material status.
He wouldn’t have been so easily caught by the first button of vanity.
The next one, inferiority, caused him to keep silent when he should have been asking questions.
Neither he, nor anyone else could see this material or the clothes, because they weren’t real.
Yet, a lie, carefully crafted, button the Emperor into this hoax even more securely.
The final button of fear, was what sealed his fate.
When he choose to allow fear full expression by literally dressing into nothing and then walking around in front of his subjects in this state, his folly caught up with him.
He was made a literal fool before them all.
Although this is a children’s tale.
Made up by a Master Story Teller.
It holds incredible truth for all ages.
The enemy knows our weak points.
He studies our attitudes and actions.
His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy.
And it’s all the better when he can use our own flesh and sin to bind us up into his plans.
I’m certain the Emperor didn’t think of himself as vain.
He just figured it was part of his duty to set the style.
I’m positive he would never have admitted to feeling inferior or unable to do his job.
Yet, his actions tell on him.
Lastly, fear can be so easily disguised as “just being careful” or “doing what feels right at the time” or any number of masks.
It is only through Jesus that we can be free from fear, find value and security in His calling, and be shown our true selves for the Creator to melt away the dross.
On our own, we all will eventually allow ourselves to be made foolish and bare before others.
However, if we bare our hearts before Jesus and trust in Him, no amount of ridicule or humiliation from others can rob you of the joy of Christ Jesus.
Because He too became bare and humbled before all.
But He chose to.
His character of love, mercy, and grace were what led Him to allow His death upon the cross.
But His story ends in hope.
Eternal salvation for all who trust in Him, because He rose again and is preparing a place for all who are called by His name.
What a wonderful story!
And this one isn’t a fairytale.