©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
Who’s knocking on your door – and what are they wearing? Adults, children and even pets are taking part in what’s become a widespread October costume party. Retail experts expect $2.9 billion will be spent this year for adults and children to dress up as a variety of characters in connection with Halloween. The National Retail Federation reports that the combined spending of pet owners dressing their furry friends in costume will equal another $.7 billion.
Popular Costumes Sought
According to Google Trends “Freight Geist” ranked list of costumes (based on searches), the witch costume ranks #1 while angel comes in #18 on the list. Now that’s something to think – and pray – about.
Spider-Man captures the #2 costume spot on the GT rankings while the dinosaur comes in third. NRT data shows that more than 2.2 million children will don the webbed suit of the superhero. Clearly, movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home which is less than a year old and the summer blockbuster release of Jurassic World Dominion have an impact. Other movies affect choices – an estimated 1.7 million adults plan to dress as vampires (another 5.3 million adults expect to dress as witches).
Meanwhile, fairy, pirate, rabbit, cheerleader, and cowboy costumes hold the Google Trends fifth through ninth slots respectively. Batman shows up as #19 so Spider-Man is soaring past him in this individual superhero category. People searching for superhero costumes in general put that category in the top 25 at #23. A few more highly searched costumes include #24 Toy Story, #29 princess, #33 mermaid, #48 Barbie #58 Elvis Presley, and #63 the ‘70s.
Disguises Exist Year-Round
As interesting as that may be, we all know wearing disguises isn’t limited to this time of year – or century. Some aren’t easy to see for what they truly are. Enticing disguises are being worn by some in our midst in entertainment, on social media, in leadership, and in other areas of life.
Jesus warns to beware of those who disguise their motives and mission and seek to lead us astray, even though they may seem sincere.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16 NIV
Elsewhere in the Bible, Paul cautioned those in Corinth to be careful. He knew the potential for them to become confused or misguided or enchanted by people existed – and that would negatively impact their relationship with Christ.
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NIV
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV
Influences and influencers we choose count.
Even words can be a cover. A disguise from what lies inside.
Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Proverbs 26:23-25 NIV
Look Under the Attire
Many persona disguises are attractive and enticing! So, it’s just as important today to be careful who we emulate, who we want to be like, who we admire or follow – lest we get beguiled or misdirected.
Are we enamored right now with current culture, fame, entertainment, money, politics, or individuals in such a way as to distract us from a close and obedient walk with the Lord?
Is there an individual (in person or virtually) or a show or lifestyle concept that influences our life so as to stir doubts in our relationship with God or disrupt our faith walk in a negative way?
Let’s look deep at ourselves. It’s almost certain we’ve all done disguise at some point.
Ever seek to be seen as a superhero? Tried to look like an angel?
Acted differently to fit in? Said something we didn’t sincerely mean?
God sees through whatever any of us try to hide.
“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24 NIV
Pray for discernment to recognize who’s knocking on the door of your heart and mind through media, entertainment, career, activities, and in all walks of life.
And, let’s peek under what we wear outwardly to make sure our inside and outside match as we honestly examine whether people will rightly recognize us as someone walking with God in truth and love.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13 NIV
And, as a side note…in case you’re wondering, the four most popular pet costumes this year are pumpkin, hot dog, bat and bumblebee respectively.
- What is the most memorable costume you’ve ever worn (for any reason)?
- In what ways do you discern character in others?
- Have you ever been misled by someone?
- What is something you’re glad others don’t fully know about you – and wish God didn’t see in you?
- If you had to pick or create a costume to wear that best reflects your heart and life, what would it be and why?
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™