Are we like the emperor in his new clothes?

Most of us are familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, the Emperor’s New Clothes. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful story or need a review, it’s well worth a quick read.

Many of us are much like the emperor when it comes to admitting (confessing) our shortcomings (sins). We try to cover the truth of our lives with fine trappings. We try to hide the ugliness from others and, far too often, from ourselves.

Recall that in the story, all the wise could see the emperor’s new (non-existent) clothes. Only the foolish could not. Who wants to admit that they are foolish? So, wearing his foolishness as finery, the emperor paraded naked through his realm. Not wanting to appear foolish, his subjects oohed and awed over the fine clothing that they could not see either.

To the knowledge of all, the emperor actually paraded buck naked through the streets. His shortcomings were on display to all.

It took the innocent honesty of a child to point out that the emperor was naked. Even then, because he would have to admit that he was foolish, the emperor himself did not recognize it. He continued to march about fully exposed while believing himself to be above foolishness.

My friends, we are very much like the emperor in his new clothes when we either avoid or refuse to confess our own short-comings, our foolishness, to God. He already knows, of course. We’re not fooling Him. But when, like the pharisee in the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector, we are arrogant in our foolishness, we’re also exposed to others.

So, come clean. Truly confess that we are imperfect. Be specific about it. We can only change and fix specific things, not all-encompassing general things.

Otherwise we end up like the emperor… marching around clothed only in our foolishness.

Who wants to see that?

Shalom, Art
Alive in The Word

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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9 Responses to Are we like the emperor in his new clothes?

  1. granbee says:

    What glorious freedom we experience when we specifically confess our sins! We are free from pretension! Hallelujah!

  2. >> “we are very much like the emperor in his new clothes when we either avoid or refuse to confess our own short-comings, our foolishness, to God”

    So true! What foolishness it is to refuse the abundance of blessings that results in agreeing with God about our sin or our inabilities.

    What a joy of ‘cleanness’ and intimate fellowship with the Almighty when we repent and confess our sins!
    What strength and enabling are ours when He intercedes on our behalf to enable us to do what He asks!
    What a joy to be an adopted child of the living God!
    What an amazing God!

    • Like the specs and the plank in the eye, it’s so easy for us to see the foolishness of others while looking right past our own. Really pretty… well, less than the full use of our God-given intelligence to pass up the wonders and joys of reconciliation and wholeness with God while reveling in our self-righteousness.

      Thanks for the visit and comment!

      Shalom, Art

  3. wdednh says:

    Reblogged this on YOU DECIDE.

  4. 4hispraise says:

    The pity is, as well.; people were (not to seem foolish) agreeing to the beauty of it all… not professing in what they clearly saw. Sounds a bit like the political scene today. There are many lessons in this fable. I use it quite often, Thank you for bringing it up

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