Monday, August 30, 2010

Fashion Faux Pas

$50 shirt, $365 pair of jeans, $20 undershirt, and $150 pair of shoes. The total amount for this wardrobe is $585. At Goodwill the same purchase would cost you around $18 (if you are brave enough to wear the shoes). At Salvation Army that might cost you around $15. At the Lynhurst Baptist Church Community Center the same items would cost you $1.00. That means you could buy 585 shirts, 585 pairs of jeans, 585 undershirts, and 585 pairs of shoes all for the same price of one shirt, jeans, undershirt, and shoes. If you wore each set just 5 times that would last you over 8 years. To get the same amount of use out of the one expensive set, you would have to wear it over it 2,920 times (that’s one smelly set of clothes). I am not marketing our Community Center, but simply pointing the degree of absurdity we go for clothes.

Since Adam and Even were escorted out of the garden, clothes have been an essential item for every society. However, what once served as basic necessity has now become an explosive tool for “self-expression.” We live with this idea that “The clothes make the man/woman.” We use clothes as an expression of who we are on the inside. That is why there is a brand catered to surfers called Billibong, and clothes that are for skaters called Tony Hawk. You would not see a surfer or skater caught dead in Aeropastle.

But let us think about the clothes we wear. There are hundreds of thousands, and even millions of people expressing themselves with the exact same Brand that we are wearing. What does that say about our own uniqueness? How insane have we become over labeling ourselves. Cattle are branded to show who owns them, not who they own, so when we wear brands, what are we really saying? I know this may sounds harsh, and you may not agree, but I am just asking you to think about it.

Clothes are not an appropriately expression of our identity. Faded shirts and catchy logos do a miserable job of announcing who we are. 2 Corinthians 4 says that it is not the outside that expresses our inside, but the inside that expresses the outside. Clothes are nothing, and even our bodies are just clay jars, but what is inside is the mysterious reality of the divine and powerful God Jesus Christ. Our cars do not matter, our clothes do not matter, even our bodies do not matter, for it is the presence of God living inside us when we ask Jesus into our heart that matters.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2Corinthians 4:18