A couple days ago, I had been out and about for most of the morning in jeans and a navy t-shirt (which I would typically view as completely useless information), except for this-- when I got home, I had just enough time to get in a workout before it would be time to go pick up the girls from school and start dinner. I figured I would just wear the t-shirt I already had on and throw on a pair of yoga pants, but therein lied the problem. Most of my yoga pants are black. (navy shirt/black pants--*shudder*) I couldn't do it, y'all. I was completely alone and knew that there was literally almost zero chance another human eye would rest on me, and yet. . . I couldn't do it.
This, of course, is a completely silly story. Well. . . silly at best. Possibly indicative of deep emotional problems at worst, but that is a discussion for another day. ;-)
Stay with me, and I'll try to make a point. I am grateful that God knows how simplistic my mind is at times. I'm further grateful that he uses even my silliness to direct me to more important thoughts and topics. Here is how he redirected me a couple days ago--
Again, my aversion to navy and black is mostly silly. Certainly it is of no eternal significance. HOWEVER, there is something to be said about holding to our standards whether or not we are seen doing so. God reminded me of 2 things, (both infinitely more important than what I was wearing). First, holding to standards assumes that we have pre-determined what those standards should be. A crucial step. We must establish our boundaries and limits prior to stepping into the situations which test those limits. And second, we must PRACTICE the behaviors that honor those boundaries in private just as diligently as we do in public. Perhaps even moreso.
So while it certainly doesn't matter if I wear black and navy together when no one is looking, it matters infinitely if I speak against sexual sin and then view pornography in the dark. It matters infinitely if I publicly support caring for the poor and make sure everyone sees me donate $10 to some cause only to waste $100 on selfishness when no one is looking. It matters infinitely if I honor my husband out loud to my friends, but then belittle and manipulate him behind closed doors. And it matters infinitely if I claim to love the Gospel while I'm at church, but don't allow it to impact any area of my life outside of church.
Inconsistency chips away at convictions so much more quickly than we realize, and living with discipline for the sake of public approval rather than as an outflowing of love and gratitude to Christ does little more than boost pride. Humble obedience, whether or not anyone will ever know about it--that is the good stuff. That is true soul bliss. When we love our Father and stick to our convictions publicly AND privately and feel his pleasure for having done so.
Weird that it took a navy t-shirt to get me thinking of this.
(Sometimes I wonder how many times a day God rolls his eyes at me, but with the greatest love and amusement, of course, just like I do with my crazy Gracie. . . :-D)