Monday, June 01, 2009

Who Is Your Advisor?
Gina Smith from Chats with an Old Lady is guest hosting at The Well today.
She writes, "As women, if we are not careful, we will buy into to what our society holds up as our standard. While in the grocery store, I see magazine after magazine that dictates to us what we should be wearing. I have seen several magazines that target women who are in their 40's and 50's and encourage them to dress and carry themselves in a way that draws attention to their bodies, and to look young and sexy. These magazines also promote products that promise to work a miracle on our aging bodies."
Interestingly enough, Gina learned some lessons recently by watching a show about what not to wear to the grocery store. One of the things Gina learned was "You MUST NOT wear sneakers to the grocery store. That looks JUST AWFUL! That is a TERRIBLE thing to do. SNEAKERS ARE FOR THE GYM!!!"
Many women take their cue from this woman (Oprah, not Gina, although they should probably listen more to Gina and less to Oprah, IMO) as to how to be culturally "hot" or at least "normal" in manner of dress, speech, etc. In fact, many women take their cue from fashion magazines, television shows, the women around them and basically the world.
Our guide should be the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and common sense when it comes to how to dress. We should ask ourselves if what we're wearing is God-honoring. If not, it's time for a change of clothing and heart attitude that led us to wear what we put on originally in the first place.
"...Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control..." 1 Timothy 2:9,10
Gina has some questions for us.
What am I allowing myself to be influenced by?
I love listening to strong men and women of God who help me stretch spiritually in ways I could not do on my own. God nudges my heart and gives me discernment here and there to know what I should be doing and not doing. His Holy Spirit tells me, "That shirt is a little more sheer than you thought, take it back!" I don't argue anymore. I just do it.
Who do I allow to dictate to me what I should be wearing?
I'm not a fashionista. If I like it, I buy it if I need it. I make sure it covers appropriate places and I don't really take my cue from magazines or those around me. I rarely see people dressed in the same clothes I am. My clothes are not weird, we just have different tastes. When I was a teen, I dressed like Seventeen Magazine said I ought to dress and I was definitely a child of the 80's. 80's hair, 80's clothes...oh, I loved the 80's.
How am I representing the God I claim to love and live for?
Oh, I hope I'm doing well in this area! I try to show His love to others and help them to grow spiritually. I try to live my life very transparently, as far as my love and devotion to Him, and make no secret about who He is and what He can do in the lives of those who will but ask Him.
Do I know the details of how God wants us to live as well as I know the details of what is in fashion?
Probably more so. Like I said, I'm no fashionista. I'm not one to follow the cultural trends of anything. I don't jump just because someone tells me to. I don't have to have the same thing everyone else does to be happy. In fact, you'd be surprised to know that I'm a simple kind of gal. I wear one pair of flats to work until they fall apart, then I go get another pair, as close to like them as possible. If I want to wear a dress when others around me are wearing only jeans, I'll do it. I'm not one to go so far out as to say, "I'm free to be me and I don't care what you think..." because I do, but I also know that my world doesn't center around what the world is concerned with. It centers around God and His love for me and trying to live out His will for my life.
Am I seeking to become conformed to the image of Christ...or the image that our ever changing society throws in front of our faces?

My heartfelt prayer is that I am conformed to Christ, not the world.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

The Greek word for transform is metamorphoō. This verb means:
1) to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure
a) Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration
One of the root words, meta, means:
1) with, after, behind
Another root word is morphoō. It, too, is a verb that means:
1) to form
Our minds are transformed or renewed by Christ Jesus so that we can test what His will is for our lives.
The Greek word for will is transliterated thelēma. It means:
1) what one wishes or has determined shall be done
a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ
b) of what God wishes to be done by us
1) commands, precepts
2) will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure
God purposes to bless us through Christ and through His will for us. His will is good, pleasing and perfect, and we should seek to this will and live it out.
The Greek word for good is agathos, which means:
1) of good constitution or nature
2) useful, salutary
3) good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy
4) excellent, distinguished
5) upright, honourable
The Greek word for pleasing is euarestos, and means:
1) well pleasing, acceptable
And the Greek word for perfect is teleios. This is not as scary as one might think. In fact, it's quite attainable. It means:
1) brought to its end, finished
2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness
3) perfect
4) that which is perfect
a) consummate human integrity and virtue
b) of men
1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature
When God's will is complete in us, brought to its end here on earth, we will begin serving a far more perfect life than we could ever imagine for Him in Heaven.
Just because Jane Doe has to have Starbucks at 6:00 a.m. every morning, does that mean you will, too? What's your point in that? If it brings the two of you together for Bible study for good conversation or prayer, by all means, go for it. But if she lives halfway across the country and swears its the only thing that gets her going, and your routine is already working for you, why change?
Why not practice removing the distractions of this world today and living in God's good, pleasing and perfect will for you right now? Throw off the things that beckon for your attention and addiction and pray that God be your main influence in this life.
I have some work to do in this area. I'm running my race with my arms outstretched toward the the prize. Care to join me?
Visit At the Well for more posts on today's topic.


Denise said...

I will gladly join you dear one, love you.

Raye Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raye Ann said...

Laurie Ann,

Oh how I have missed you the past few weeks. It has been a long few weeks for me.
What a blessed post. I loved the breakdown of Romans 12:2. It really helps to put it into perspective.
Watch my blog today for an announcement. It is exciting, or at least I think so.

Love Ya Lots Sweet Sister
Raye Ann

Joyfull said...

I'm joining you in the race! Wonderful post and encouragement to work on removing distractions and keep our focus on our "Transformer".

He And Me + 3 said...

I totally want my life to be lead by His will for it and to follow His word with every decision I make.
Great post again. I will join you too!

LAURIE said...

I am trying desperately to remove those distractions that seem to keep me from being who God wants me to be. God called each of us to be His children - He didn't say we had to be exactly the same!! (PTL!!) lol - love, Laurie

Raye Ann said...

Hey Sweetie,

Hubby wants me to wait on any announcements for about week. I still think it is exciting. I am ready to pounce with the news.

Raye Ann

Laurie Ann said...

I have a feeling I know what the news is....ask the hubs since you have our curiosity peeked couldja just give us one more hint, LOL!

Raye Ann said...

Well lets just say that it may be why I have been out sick. LOL