Last week I wrapped up my fast from food excess and this week I am jumping into the clothing fast. This one is going to be a bit more interesting seeing as I don’t put a lot of stock into my clothing choices. I mean, lets be real, I am a stay at home mom. I have four kiddos ages 6-3 in my home on a daily basis. I only really leave “the house 2 maybe 3 days a week. So for me, my basic wardrobe is yoga pants (gasp!), a big baggy T-shirt, and my tennis shoes.
In the intro to this chapter Jen says that the purpose of the fast is to pinch a little. To take into consideration the vast importance we as individuals place on our clothing and our outward appearance.
The questions we are to consider before breaking into the study are:
1) Why do you think we spend so much time consumed with our clothes?
2) How might tour closet reflect your heart?
3) Read Matthew 6:21. How have you found Jesus’ words true in your life?
4) Read Matthew 6:28-30. How can Jesus’ words encourage you when it comes to your closet?
I will get to all those questions a bit later. First I am going to outline how I will be partaking in this fast. Since my leggings and yoga pants are my best of friends I think the best way for me to really dive into this is to fold them up and put them away for the next 2 weeks.
Here are the 7 items I will be wearing for the next 2 weeks:
2 pair of dark wash jeans
1 Short sleeved pink “SWBTS” t-shirt with white print
1 Short sleeved pink v-neck t shirt
1 Short Sleeved pink ” Blessed is She” t shirt with white lettering
2 cami undershirts
Sock and underwear don’t count
Shoes don’t count (mostly because I only wear 1 pair of shoes anyway)
The only jewelry I ever wear is my wedding ring and my fitbit so that wasn’t an area I focused on either.
So there it is, the 7 articles of clothing I will be wearing for the next 14 days. My biggest concern in all of this is maintaining the resolve to wear jeans for 14 days. I really don’t like wearing “real” pants!
Considering the fact that we live in a small space and on a fairly limited budget I like to think that the size of my wardrobe is on the modest end. However, every time I look into my closet and stare at the items hanging there and complain that I have nothing to wear what I am really trying to say is “I have nothing I desire to wear that is currently clean” which usually means that I should consider doing laundry. That’s not to mention the number of pairs of shoes I currently own. In all honestly I only where one pair of shoes (my comfy tennis shoes) but that doesn’t mean that I don’t own way to many pair.
Over all, my wardrobe is not lacking even when I convince myself that I just have nothing to put on in the mornings.
What does the Bible Say?
1My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?
James clearly states how we at the Church should react to each and every individual. He tells the reader that an individual’s outward appearance is not what one should be paying attention to. James points out that it is the poor in the world who will be rich in faith and will be the true heirs to the kingdom. It is the rich in the world, those who lord their wealth over the poor who are getting their reward. How often do we judge the proverbial book by it’s cover? How often do we jump to conclusions about a person’s character based on the clothing they are wearing, making silent judgement calls because their clothes cost too much or to little for our liking?
Our judgement also turns to ourselves. We, especially as women, spend countless hours questioning what we are wearing. We ask questions like “Does this look professional enough?” “Does this look like I am trying to hard?” “Does this outfit say I’m easy?” “Will anyone notice that my shirt doesn’t fit just right?” We pay for personal stylists, read magazines with ‘experts’ on fashion, and follow everu blog we can find on the subject hoping to fit with the latest trends and fad. We strive to fit in and stand out all at the same time. We spend so much time focusing on our outward appearance that we leave little time to cultivate our inward spirit.
While there is nothing wrong with taking pride in our outward appearance, the Bible is clear about what our focus should be. 1 Peter 3:3 tells us that we shouldn’t adorn ourselves outwardly with fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, but rather, we should adorn ourselves with a gentle and quiet spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that we are to strive to live in the Fruit of the Sprirt; love, joy, peace. patience, gentleness, and self-control. Being presentable to the world is important and often a valuable asset to opening up conversation with other. However, our ultimate goal should be who we are inside the pages of our book.