At some point in the not too distant future, I’m going to write out the basic rules of dressing I’ve learned. I’ll describe some of the ways I discovered what my personal style is, and help you guys to do the same. Spoiler alert, it’s going to involve some television characters and books.
Before I even get started on that, I want to write about the fundamental thing that everything in your life should be based on. If you’ve been reading along, you already know I’m talking about God. Specifically, I want to write about how the identity that you build your wardrobe around should come from the Lord.
The Tools God Gave Us
This is not going to be a post in which I give you a five-step program to becoming your True Jesus Self. Anyone who tries to give you one of those might have a very small view of God. Still, we need to “work out our own salvation,” or as my Amplified Bible puts it in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence, but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). – (Philippians 2:12)
This means you and I have some hard work ahead of us.
Verses That Helped Me
Luckily for us, God is a very understanding God, all things considered. As such, He’s given us His written word that we can read for wisdom and understanding about ourselves. The Bible is first and foremost a testimony of God’s gracious and just character. It’s also full of things God tells us about ourselves, as humanity and as individuals. Some verses that have helped me discover the character God gave me are:
Genesis, 1:27 “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God he created him; male and female He created them.”
2 Tim, 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of courage, love, and a sound mind.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
He also gave us the gift of stories, like our own stories, that we can tell others and ourselves to define our character from God. In the same way that I can point to Uncle Ben’s death in Spider-man’s origin story and say “This defined his character,” I can also point to stories in my life when God appeared and say to you “This defined my character.”
The third thing that God gave us to guide us is the Holy Spirit.
Super Quick Background on the Holy Spirit, and Why It’s Important
Way back in the day God made men and women, but because of our flawed and sinful natures, God couldn’t hang with us in all His glory. SO He gave us the gift of the Arc of the Covenant where His spirit would reside. There were still a ton of rules about interacting with the Arc, like making an animal sacrifice to atone for your sins. However, when the Maker of Heaven and Earth resides among you, you shouldn’t complain too much. Surprise, surprise, though, humans messed that up, so God was like “I’m out… but I’ll be back.”
NOW, Christians believe that God did come back into the body and presence of Jesus Christ. This was so that the Spirit of the Lord could talk to us without
- an animal sacrifice
- we wouldn’t IMMEDIATELY drop dead because our finite bodies couldn’t handle the infinite nature and glory of God.
You probably know about Jesus at least a little (thank you Judeo-Christian American culture). You also know that part of the Christian story was Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of humans. This worked because Jesus was the human stand-in of the sacrificial lamb from the old system, and because he’s God in human flesh, he does what he wants.
This was kind of a big deal, but what was a much BIGGER deal is that the guy CAME BACK TO LIFE three days later, and not as a zombie. Like, legit coming back to life, with no plot strings attached. SO NOW, when he ascended into heaven, he was all like “I’M NOT DEAD BUT I’M GOING HOME BECAUSE OF MY OWN FREE WILL. ALSO, I LEFT Y’ALL A GIFT.”
What is the Holy Spirit?
This gift was the Holy Spirit that I mentioned earlier. Now, what is the Holy Spirit, you ask? It’s the Spirit of God, and if you invite it to, It’ll come into your existence and be your direct line with the Lord. I’m really not sure about the mechanics, to be honest, and you’ll have to do your own research into that (sorry). But the bottom line is that because we have the Holy Spirit, we’re not doing this alone.
We Have the Technology! Now What?
Here comes the part where I have no easy answers. Learning about the character of God, and how that informs your personal aesthetics, is a life-long journey. It requires study, meditation, prayer, and a finely tuned ear to hear the Holy Spirit, and a sharp eye to see the new motions in your life. My life, my tastes, and, least of all, my wardrobe, are not what they were five years ago. Part of me mourns that, but God has been kindly (not always gently) pushing me forward. As difficult and frustrating as it may be sometimes (especially when I’m trying to figure out what to wear in the morning), glory to God, that’s okay. Glory to God, I hope that’s okay for you too.
What Do You Think?
Alright Y’all, I’ve thrown out a lot of stuff here in a very small space. I’m sure y’all have some responses, and I’d love to hear them. Let me know in the comments below what’s on your mind!
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