Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
What did Paul see when he looked, daily, at the armor of a Roman soldier?
He would have noticed that the Roman soldier’s belt held up his loose tunic undergarment so that when he engaged in battle, he did not trip. This belt also held other weapons, such as a sword.
John Stott explained the meaning of the metaphor, belt of truth, in an a sermon on March 23, 1975:
The only Christian who can stand before the wiles of the devil is a Christian who is transparently true. . . We need to buckle on ourselves the belt of truth, transparent openness and honestly and integrity. The very first piece of the Christians’ armor, in spiritual health as in mental health—honesty about oneself—is indispensable, and if we pretend to be other than we are, we are simply asking for trouble.
So, how can we live as people of integrity? How can we think truthfully about ourselves, avoiding the temptation to think too highly of ourselves while also not living under a cloud of continual, internal accusations regarding our inadequacies?
I can’t say it any better than this:
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, MSG)
Questions for reflection and discussion: Do you see wearing a belt as essential or more as a fashion accessory? And how do you view putting on the “belt of truth”—essential or optional? What ways have you discovered to cultivate honesty with yourself, to put on the “belt of truth?"