I haven’t worn a belt since middle school. And I’ve gotta say, I never planned on wearing one again… school uniforms will do that to you.
Yesterday, however, I needed a belt. And- of course- I didn’t have one.
It really wouldn’t have been a big deal… except for the fact that it was Day One of my new job. I had everything else, but I apparently missed the memo of the belt. And- having a personality such as mine- this turned into a very big deal.
I have to admit, though, this is not the first time I’ve found myself “belt-less”. Oh- I’ve been caught “belt-less” LOTS of times… like daily.
And I’m not just talking about the ones that go through your jeans (although I never wear those either).
Ephesians 6:14 has some interesting insights about belts. According to this verse, one of the ways we stand firm against temptation (and that little bugger who brings it into our lives) is to put on the “belt of truth”.
Yes- the belt. Apparently I did not receive the memo that Bibles come with belts now days. That would have been helpful to know the other day.
I find it interesting that of all the pieces of armor truth could be- it is a belt. I mean- what does a belt even do besides sit on your waist and look pretty?
It holds up your pants, which may or may not seem like a big deal, but trust me- it is.
You see, it would be horribly embarrassing to lose your pants. Belts prevent that problem by holding them up and tightening them in.
Truth works in the same way.
When my thoughts are going haywire, God’s truth cinches them back in. When my standards or convictions get loose, His truth keeps them up.
The fact that truth is a belt makes perfect sense.
When I am wearing the belt of truth, I can stand firm in my struggles against temptation and self-doubt. When I forget my belt, my pants fall down.
Sin creeps in.
Lies camp out.
… It’s really not a pretty picture.
I’m learning that truth is not something you flippantly refer to in your time of need. It’s not something to embrace one minute and discard the next. It is a vital part of your everyday life.
Without truth, chaos reigns. Lies set up their royal thrones and demand center stage. Vision is clouded with demands of “Me! Me! Me!”. Sine steals the royal robe and leaves you with the drab potato sack garment, taking away any sense of worth.
In a word, all is let “loose”.
By now, you probably get the concept, and you’re probably tired of me talking to you about how clothes and God mix. I know how frustrating it is to hear this “Christian” talk and have no idea how to apply it to your life.
I’m going to give you some practical examples from my own life throughout the next couple of posts. Enjoy my completely irrational thoughts 🙂
Scenario 1: I walk into a room full of people my age and assume I’ll make some friends (Ok- I really just assume ONE person will come up to talk to me). No one says a word to me. I strategically place myself near a large group of girls, but still no friendly greeting. Just stares and lots of silence.
My Thoughts: (which, by the way, would be the “lie”) “Something must be wrong with me. Have I been gaining weight? Am I too quiet? Would they talk to me if I were prettier? Nicer? Funnier?”
My Actions: Because of this one incident, I started walking with my head down, eyes to the ground. I didn’t want to look at people because I knew I wasn’t “pretty”. My thoughts became more and more focused on my weight and imperfections, and I quickly sunk into a pit of yucky self-doubting muck .
It was so not fun.
Truth: Ok, let’s start with the most obvious lie: “I’m ugly.”
Nowhere in the Bible does it say: “And Alexis was very unattractive and God said, “It is good.”; therefore, I cannot claim this as my truth. What God does say is this: “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
He looked at ALL of creation and said this. (Meaning it includes you and me)
God does not create junk. He creates all things in their own beauty. He creates all things with their own purpose. He created you, as Psalm 139 says, “fearfully and wonderfully”.
Meaning there is nothing wrong with the way you look.
I know how easy it is to believe this lie. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the most prominent lie in my book.
But here’s truth: it’s a lie. When you are in an uncomfortable situation, cling to the truth.
It was easy for me to believe that no one was talking to me because I was ugly; it was harder for me to believe that their choice to ignore me most likely had nothing to do with me. It doesn’t matter what I look like, how quiet I am, or my friendliness toward new people.
Most likely, none of those even mattered.
The best I can do is be myself in those situations, acknowledge the anxiety and disappointment, and move on to another situation. Life is too short to let an hour disturbance impact the weeks to follow.
I know I am not the only one who walks into awkward situations. I know I’m not the only one who (at times) feels like an outsider in the midst of groups.
So I’m here to encourage you to buckle on the belt of truth in those situations.
No one wants to see your pants on the ground.