Encouragement for Today
Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member, Co-editor of Online Devotions
Matthew 6:25, "If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.” (The Message)
I discovered a lot about myself during a recent cleaning expedition of my clothes closet. Blue stood out as my favorite color. How could I own so many blue tops? I found that somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I hold the fantasy I am going to fit into those size 10 jeans again. I believe my favorite outfits might someday come back in style. I noticed I am a splurge spender; some of the new-like attire I had worn only once. I bought them as spur of the moment purchases and then decided they were “just not me.” With a glance at the floor, I recall my husband suggesting, “You might be a shoe-oholic.” He could be right.
Spring-cleaning my closet became an adventure, a safari of sorts. I separated. I bagged and hauled out many worn, useless, too small, and hardly worn items. I sat down, exhausted after finishing my cleaning mission.
Then I asked myself, Why do I own so many clothing items that a full walk-in closet bursts at the seams? Two answers settled in my mind – God’s blessings and my own self-indulgence.
Starting today, with God’s help, I will attempt to put less value on my clothing and more significance on what I wear on the inside. The Apostle Paul said, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Romans 13:14, NIV). I want others to see Jesus when they spend time with me.
In addition, I will purchase my clothes with more thought. Do I need it? Will I wear it?
If yes, I will remove one old item when I hang it in my closet. Also enduring styles, not fads, will populate my wardrobe. My closet will remain uncluttered by not adding trendy fashion attire.
Now about those shoes. I do love shoes, but I want to be a good steward of my money. Most shoes I own don’t wear-out before they go out-of-fashion. Again, Paul advises us on our footwear, “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared (Ephesians 6:15, NLT). Now he doesn’t infer I shouldn’t wear stylish shoes, only that I take into consideration what the true importance is in life. So, I will determine a shoe budget and stick to it. Regardless of those strappy summer sandals on sale at the mall. I will not listen to the urge to buy, even if they are cheap and adorable.
Next year, I hope to find new clues to myself, when I do spring cleaning of my closet. I won’t need to be worn-out from the chore, because I will have followed Jesus’ advice, “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body (Matthew 6:25 The Message.)
My Prayer for Today:
Lord Jesus, remind me of what is truly important in the big scheme of eternity. Help me to be a wise steward of my money when I shop for clothes. Lord, each morning remind me to clothe myself with humility and love, so that others see You.
Glance through your closet and then take notes on what your closet reveals about your personality and resources. Mark a date on your calendar to give your clothes closet a thorough cleaning. Then when the day arrives, sort into piles the items to keep, the items to donate, and the items that need to be thrown away. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Do I have more clothes than I need?
Does my clothing model Christian modesty?
Who could benefit from a donation of my clothing I no longer wear?
Ephesians 6:13, “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.” (NIV)
Colossians 3:10, “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (NIV)
Colossians 3:12,”Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. “(NIV)
Colossians 3:14, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (NIV)
1 Peter 5:5, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another … but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
Frugal Families, by Jenni McCoy
P31 Woman Magazine
Originally published Monday, 15 August 2005.