It seems like we are told by the media that we need to worry about clothes. Would you agree? There are TV programs advising us what types of clothes look best on different body types. There are the latest magazines with the latest fashions to keep in style. But, what does God's Word say about this? Let's find out by looking deeper....
Let's start by reflecting on what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV).
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry... about your body, what you will wear. Is not...the body more important than clothes? ...Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying...‘What shall we wear?’...your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Do you worry about clothes and what you will wear?
Well, to find out, let's look at what that word worry means in the original Greek language.
It is the word merimnao and means "to be anxious, to be troubled with cares, to care for, look out for (a thing), to seek to promote one's interests, caring or providing for."(1) Another way this word is translated in the KJV is "to take thought."
Do you take a lot of thought about what you'll wear? If you're anything like me, there have been times where I have stood in front of my closet for a long time trying to find the perfect outfit!
When I was studying this topic and looked a little deeper, I found that word worry comes from the root word merimna which means "care, anxiety." (2) What I find interesting is that this same word is found in this verse...
Matthew 13:22 "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."
Do you remember this story about the seed that Jesus told? Basically, He said the seed is the Word of God. And sometimes it falls on soil where the seed grows and flourishes. But, many times it falls on soil where the seed doesn't amount to anything, it doesn't grow into a life-giving, fruit-bearing plant. One of the times that the seed doesn't grow is the example above. It is choked out by the worries of this life.
Are we allowing the worries of this life to choke out the growth God wants to do in us? Could our worry about clothes be contributing to this?
I know it has for me at times.
Does this mean that we aren't supposed to think about what we will wear at all? Should we just wear any old thing and not even care?
I don't think so.
If you look at Matthew 6:33, Jesus finishes with saying, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
That word first is the word proton and means, "1) first in time or place, in any succession of things or persons, 2) first in rank, influence, honour." (3)
So when we seek God first, it means that He is at the top of our list, in first place above anything else... including our concern for how we look and what we will wear.
The cool thing is that when we seek God first, we don't have to totally give up everything else, like our clothes. It says seek Him first and then "all these things will be given to you as well." It's just a matter of priorities. What are we seeking first?
One way we can know what is first place on our list is how much time we spend with it. One question you could ask yourself then, is...."Am I spending more time thinking about what I will wear and worrying about what other people will think of me than I do with God?"
For example, the average Christian spends 7-10 minutes with God each day. And yet the average person spends 26 minutes getting dressed in the morning.
Think about how much time you spend with God and how much time you spend picking out your clothes each day and getting dressed. If you don't know, keep track of it this week and then compare.
If God is not in first place, consider asking Him to help you change your desires. If you just legalistically try to spend more time with God it may work for a short time, but it won't last forever. But, if God truly changes your desires, you will find yourself craving that time with God. I know because I've seen God do that for me. And I believe only He can change our desires.
Let's close by reading again what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34 and personalize it by inserting our name. If you can, read it aloud to help it really sink in.
“Therefore I tell you (insert your name), do not worry...about your body, what you will wear. Is not...the body more important than clothes? ...Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to (your)life? And why do you, (insert your name), worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, (insert your name), O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying...‘What shall we wear?’...your heavenly Father knows that you need (clothes). But, (insert your name) seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Shelley has a heart for teen girls that began from her own journey of finding her true beauty in Christ. She is currently serving God by helping other Christians learn to let their light shine.
Connect with Shelley online:
1) Merimnao = http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/
2) Merima = http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/
3) Proton = http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/
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