Every year millions of people look back on the year prior thinking of how they can improve it and be better this year than they were last year. We go back through all of the events and memories and try to edit a better version for the following year. Maybe it’s working out more or eating healthier. Maybe it’s spending more time with our loved ones or purposefully not engaging in gossip. We try to find something – anything really – in whatever area of our lives we would like to improve in.
For me, I never knew what my New Year’s resolution was going to be. I never really followed through with my promises to drink more water or to stop eating so many sweets. So instead of promising something that I knew I didn’t have any real intentions of changing anyway, I decided to look at it differently.
New year, new me. I look back at the year and ask myself, “What kind of person were you? Were you generous to people who were in need? Were you someone who put others before yourself? Did you share the gifts God gave you with others? Did you choose to speak kind words and encourage someone who was hurting? But most importantly, did your identity come from God?”
It’s March 1st. But it’s not too late to start asking yourself these questions today. The beginning of January is not the only time you can choose to invest in personal growth. There is no day like today to begin again. There are lots of different areas - and seasons – in our lives that we could look at to answer these questions, but coming from a girl who loves fashion…I think I’ll start in my closet.
I open the doors to my closet and the symbolism of it all comes pouring out. To the right I see my absolute favorite outfits. They are the best quality and most expensive pieces in my closet, and I only wear them when I am dressing to impress. They used to be what I called “the outfits my sisters were never allowed to borrow” (you know what I’m talking about if you have sisters!). To the left are all of my fast fashion pieces. The inexpensive, lots of duplicates, not the best quality – outfits that I had way more of than I really needed. Looking at both sides you could start to form an opinion of what kind of person the woman that owns this closet is. You might look at the designer labels of the shoes and bags and think, this is a glamorous woman who values the finer things. You might look at the basic tees and think this is a simple woman who is down to earth. Or you might even start putting more or less value on the woman herself based on what she owns.
When the world fills us with pictures of effortlessly beautiful women and glamorous lifestyles, it’s easy to fall into the temptation of desiring that for ourselves too. And on the other hand, when we see the unfiltered, unenhanced, or even flawed woman and less than perfect lifestyle, we believe the lie that we are somehow better. Why is it that we often think carrying a designer bag gives us more value? Why do we desire to be the kind of woman who only wears the most sought after brand as if we can add or subtract to the value of who we are? Do we not know that we are loved and that we have all been bought at a high price?
If we don’t know where our identity comes from, we will try to make our own.
We’ll try to prove to the world we have value through our material things, or what we have going on in our lives is better and brighter and happier. And when we forget WHO our identity comes from, it is easy for the enemy to come in and twist what we believe to be true.
1 Samuel 16:7 reads, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’”
So, does my identity come from God?
I look at my closet full of clothes and see them as just that, clothes. I appreciate the quality of the nicer garments without attaching my identity to them. I look at the basic garments and appreciate their purpose for providing my need to be clothed without attaching my self-worth to them. I go through my closet and look it over piece by piece, just like we look over our previous year moment by moment. But neither what we have in our closet, or what we have going on in our lives should be something we use to identify ourselves. We are given these things for our enjoyment, God does not intend for us to use them as our identity. Our identity comes from Him and Him alone. There is nothing we can do to improve the way we look to be valued more or less.
March 1st. Mark the date as you begin again in thinking about how you will improve your moments. I encourage you to look at your life from God’s perspective. Look at your intentions and actions. See the heart in others, don’t be blinded by outward appearance. Don’t put more value on what others see on the outside than what God sees on the inside. And most importantly, know that your identity comes from God, who values you more than any value we could put on anything else.
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV)
Fashion + Faith + Friends
Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion!
03.09.17 || 6:30 - 8:30 pm || FREE for all Women!
Aloft Austin Northwest
14020 N Highway 183, Austin, Texas 78717