Have you ever stood in front of your closet and uttered this horrific lie: “I have nothing to wear!”? It usually comes out in a sing-songy whine.
Yet, unless you walked around naked yesterday, you have something to wear. They might be dirty or smelly, but you have clothes.
“But someone might notice I’m wearing the same thing I wore last Friday.”
Really? I worked with my teaching partner for almost four years before I realized she wore black pants and a black top to school every day. One of our more observant students asked her why she wore the same clothes each day. In response, she told the child that she has a shelf of “work clothes.” She has five outfits, all black, to choose from in the mornings before school. The complaint, “I have nothing to wear” has never passed over her lips.
In my defense for not noticing, I’d like to point out that she accessorizes her outfits. She throws on a flashy scarf, a colorful cardigan, or a bulky necklace and hair tie to break up the monotony of the black. Therefore, I didn’t recognize the five-day pattern.
I think I can speak for the average middle to upper-class Canadian woman when I say that we have more clothes than we need. There are only seven days in a week, but our closets are bursting at the seams. If we wore each item only once, it would take months to get through it all. Why do we need so much?
We seem to value variety. What stops us from having a seven-day wardrobe for each season with something fancy for special occasions and something to exercise in? We’d have much more space in our homes! Don’t get me started on shoes… Considering that we were naked when we arrived in this world, and we’ll leave naked when our spirits rise from our bodies, why do we need so much?
I’m feeling a little guilty today about my bending closet bars and heavy dresser drawers when many people struggle to make ends meet. I was lucky enough to be born into a family that lived comfortably, although not excessively, and I had opportunities for education and a successful career. Not everyone had the same start.
In 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Paul tells us if we have enough food and clothing, we should be content. He didn’t point out how easy it is to be content when we have more than we need.
I can still fall short of representing God well if I don’t look past my own contentment to see the needy people around me. Do you ever feel this way?
Jesus said it is more difficult for rich people to enter Heaven (Matthew 19:23). What makes a person rich, though? Is there a monetary value that defines “the rich?” Maybe, having more than seven seasonal outfits is the necessary qualifier…
There is also the danger of feeling so content that we don’t recognize our need for God. I think that is part of what Jesus was talking about. Who prays more—the Christian family who struggles to meet their basic needs or the one who needs nothing? In most cases, I’d suggest the needier mom would spend more time on her knees asking God for help.
Jesus tested the rich man’s desire to follow Him:
Is that what we are meant to do: sell everything and help the poor? Is that the condition we must meet to inherit eternal life in Heaven?
When I face spiritual questions such as these, I go back to the two commandments that Jesus highlighted for an expert in religious law: love God with your whole heart, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). While I don’t think He meant I should sell all my worldly possessions, I do think He meant that I should be kind, generous, and loving at every opportunity. And sometimes that will mean creating opportunities and going out of my way to treat others, not only how I’d like to be treated, but how Jesus would have treated them. And that could, in fact, result in giving some of my excess clothing to someone who needs it.
Do you ever feel bad about having more than you need? How do you respond when you feel that way?
Open my eyes, Lord, and help me to see what people need from me. Let me be your hands and feet in this world. Amen.
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One thought on “Nothing to Wear”
Guess we’ve all been there but since retirement I’ve not had much clothes. Not going very far so who cares lol. Maybe my girls will give me a few tops size L. 🤔🤔🤣🤣. We sure could do with less! We certainly could reach out to help the less fortunate and make lots of space Nice writing 👍👍❤️❤️
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