Why Be Different?

Hello! I'd like to tell you a little bit about In My Mirror, and the philosophy that drives the blogging here.

To begin with, I'll state the obvious; this is a fashion blog. But if you've spent any time browsing this blog, I hope it's also obvious that this blog is about much more than fashion. In fact, fashion isn't the main topic. Instead, my passion and vision for this blog is for it to be focused on how being a Christian applies to fashion.

If we are truly a child of God - someone who has been changed from the inside out by His love - we are His people. And the Bible says that His people are peculiar:

Titus 2:14 
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a PECULIAR people, zealous of good works.
I Peter 2:9 
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;   

Both of those verses associate being peculiar with action. If you're a peculiar person, you are zealous of good works. You show forth praise of God.

Peculiar means "strange", "odd", "uncommon", "unusual", "distinctive in nature or character from others", or "belonging exclusively to a person, group, or thing".  

I love the idea of belonging exclusively to the Lord Jesus, but somehow...being "odd" or "strange" isn't as appealing.

Yet that's what I am. The Bible doesn't command us to become peculiar; God simply says that, because we are His, therefore we are peculiar. I'm not a "world-ling" anymore; I am His. And once I was saved, He began to change me to look more and more like His Son.

Yet the world doesn't like to look at Jesus. The world doesn't want to even be reminded of Him. And the more I remind them of Him, the less they like me. (Unless God is working in their hearts, in which case He starts drawing them toward Himself. Yay!)

So I being to feel pressured to look like the world. To blend in with everybody else. To fight against being peculiar. To go against my new nature, and embrace the old one -  as if I can fly north and south at the same time.

That causes a lot of agony, because I am striving for two things I can never have; I've been born anew, so I can never be part of the world again (praise the Lord!), yet as long as I hold onto a fondness for the world, I can never look like Christ. So, like a child with too many toys, I try to gain everything, and have nothing. 

This blog is about embracing our new nature. To start saying "who cares?" to the world, and "I care!" to God. It's about seeing the freedom we have in Christ, and falling so in love with Him that we are able to understand how He would have us live and look.

And what does Christ look like?

He is pure.
He is kind.
He is beautiful.
He is wise.
He is joyful.
He is righteous.
He is holy.
He is love.

Can we begin to reflect a bit of that in our own character? Will it change the way we look?

Without a doubt.

First of all, our faces will be different. Then our body language and posture will change. We will lose self-consciousness. We will be God focused. And other-focused. Then the way we clothe our bodies will change. We'll see ourselves as God sees us, and get a whole new perspective on appearances.

I believe clothing is NOT about:
grabbing attention
causing envy
spending money
bragging on a body you didn't even create

Clothing isn't even about making you beautiful. Because it can't. Only what is within can make you beautiful. Clothing is only a frame for a picture. 

I do believe clothing IS about (in order of importance):
covering what God covered after sin entered the world (Genesis 3:21)
loving our brothers in Christ by helping them stay focused on the right things
delighting in being a lady
creating a welcoming appearance to others, so they may feel free to approach us
enjoying color
imitating God's creative expression
combining elements that show outwardly the joy we are feeling inwardly
expressing our personalities, and enjoying the differences in them

There - that wasn't too hard, was it? Were you expecting a rigid list of rules? I know "modesty" can be a hot topic in many circles, but I find only two commands in scripture: we are to be modest (1 Timothy 2:9), and avoid looking like a man (Deuteronomy 22:5). Hey, we have liberty in Christ! Let us use that not as an occasion to indulge the flesh, but to pattern our lives after His, with joy.

It isn't always easy being peculiar. Sometimes I really want to just fit in, for once. But, you know, even if I dressed myself exactly like they do, I know in my heart I wouldn't really fit in. Ever. Because I'm different.

That used to sadden me. Then, one day, I was praying, asking God to please use my life to count for something. To change the world for Him. To let every second count for His service. To make a difference. I didn't want to die and leave the world exactly how I found it. I wanted to change something. And I know only Christ can change things, so I was asking Him to use me.

That's when it struck me. I think the Spirit of God whispered to my heart. I realized that every person whom God used in the Bible to make a difference was different. They were changed people. They were odd, sometimes. They didn't fit in. And they didn't try. They stood out as unusual...and they changed things.

That's when I whispered the phrase that has become my rallying point whenever I feel discouraged about being peculiar;

"To make a difference, I must be different."