What Not to Wear. Theology 101?

Posted: May 28, 2007 in God, Theology

My wife Stephanie loves watching the show, What Not To Wear on TLC. For those unfamiliar with the show, it basically works this way: Two or more of your closest friends and usually a very close relative (spouse, child, parent) send in pictures or videos of your terrible fashion sense and give WNTW permission to put hidden video cameras in the places where you wear and change your clothes. After they gather enough evidence of your lack of fashion taste buds – as well as anything else you might have done while the cameras are running – they bring you in and let you see footage of your friends and family basically dogging the way you dress. You also get to see the hidden camera footage. Then they spend the next 45 minutes – and $5000 – remaking your image from the outside in. The show concludes with you walking into a room with all your friends and family waiting to see the new you.The result is usually amazing, a total transformation. The women almost always walk away thanking Stacy and Clinton for helping them regain their self-esteem, their confidence that they can look nice, despite the verbal abuse they have undergone along the way. There are usually some tears involved but also an excitement about their new life ahead. Great stuff, right? There is something about this that just rubs me wrong in a very painful place and with sandpaper. What comes to mind is how I use What Not To Wear axioms in my own life! How many times, usually after some ridiculous argument I started with my wife or after wasting away a perfectly useful afternoon /evening doing absolutely nothing useful, have I seen myself as pre-WNTW women see themselves? There is no hope for me. I can’t beat this. I am too undisciplined. There is too much baggage. I was an only child. I just have too many bad habits. If people really knew me, they would never want me around people they care about. And on and on. Hey, most of the time I will readily admit this and even more readily will forego the embarassing video footage that proves it!But at this point, i usually make one of two decisions, neither of which serves at all in the way of progress: continue to languish in my self-pity and sink into a state of depression, or give myself an incredible pep-talk (not infrequently as a result of a good fixer-upper book filled with great tips and tricks on getting better at life) that renews my excitement about life and gives me hope once again! I’m sure you know the one, “I just need to get up earlier, practice these 7 principles and put a smile on my face so everyone will think I’ve got it together. Then, maybe I will get it all together and will be like everyone else who seems like they have it all together.” Of course, after a little while it all falls apart again and I’m back in front of the mirror where I began having to make the same choice. From books I’ve read, I have learned that I do not have a monopoly on this struggle. Indeed, it has been a struggle since the Fall. Adam and Eve blew it, felt horrible about what they did, realized they were filthy. . . . and proceeded to try to cover it up! Not only did I inherit Adam’s sin, but also his response to sin!! So, here are a few questions: I know that isn’t the correct response, but what is? How do I deal with the filth in my own life? Certainly this must be done before I can even think about dealing with it in others’ lives, right? And, why is it that our culture has such a difficult time truthfully admitting they are bankrupt?Ideally speaking . . . .I’d like to hear, er, read your thoughts!

  1. Marc Lewis says:

    shane, this is a great looking blog. I don’t even mind your little butterfly on the bottom of the page, it shows your security in knowing that God didn’t just create butterflies for little girls. heha

    Really, it is a very good looking site for the eyes.

    and the name is cool too.

    really, I am glad to see you blogging. I always like the way you ask questions and think, even when your wrong…and it was that one time you thought you were wrong.

    About this post. Not to over simplfiy it but. I must say Jesus. I do not respond most of the time by looking to Christ, but when I do I not only see hope, I feel it.

    There are so many practical ways that others have written about that can help us as we look to Christ…the perfector of our small faith. (I added small)

  2. ammonsfam says:

    Yeah, i know i will get plenty of comments about the flowers and the butterflies, but hey, i like the colors. Oh no, isn’t that why girls like sports teams!!! Micah, hurry up and grow son. I need you!

    thanks for the post bro. i miss you.

  3. Jamie Cain says:

    It’s scary how much we have in common. Our culture has programmed us to fix ourselves, and there is no shortage of DIY manuals for the soul. Problem is, we don’t really own the soul’s manual. Oh sure, people will say it’s the Bible, but it’s not really. Boy, that’s a rabbit trail I don’t want to follow in a comment!

    Anyway, the response you give is exactly what we should do: recognize our fallen-ness, our frailty, and submit ourselves to the only one who can heal us. Finding that third way sometimes requires a machete. It’s hard to see under all that self-pity and rugged individualism.

    Like the blog. Welcome to the online conversation.

  4. Derek says:

    Does this mean I have to blog? More and more, as Jamie alluded to, I realize that it is the simple submission to scripture and obedience. The problem is that there are so many competing influences out there. We need the iron and the Spirit brother. It is the way to get sharpened.

    Yes, I felt guilty after sending the mail and had to come back and read the post.

  5. Bates says:

    Hmmm… a moments time spent with me will quickly show that I have no good answers to this question. I might have a few more questions though. Why is it that you are so frustrated with yourself, is it because you want to have higher self-esteem? If so, should that be our motivation? Does our motivation have to be right to get positive results (yikes)? Why do we beat ourselves up, are our expectations of ourselves too high? I think I sometimes kick myself for things that really aren’t “kicking worthy.” However, I do have plenty of “oh crap, do I even know Jesus” moments. There are obviosuly all the spiritual answers, which are absolutely on point – pray, understand grace, etc… I guess though we are 1. always going to be sinful 2. be convicted of sin (hopefully) 3. Deal with that sin. I don’t think we will ever like the process. One thing I can look to that I don’t have around me, that I’ve benefited from in the past – and that is solid accountability. Who knows man? Are you really feeling that bad about playing flag football all Saturday?

  6. Jamie Cain says:

    Like the new layout, bro!

  7. Deron Roberts says:

    With the brilliance and eloquence in which you form your thougts, there has to be some Robert’s blood in you. I am proud of you! I was in worship service tonight, when God put you in my mind. I haven’t seen or talked to you in many years, yet you were one of my favorite cousins. How is it that we become so busy that we forget those closest to us? Why don’t you give me a call, so we can chat. So many things have changed since we last saw each other. Call or email me so we can catch up. I’ll leave my contact information below. God bless you and your family.

    Deron Roberts

  8. Jamie Cain says:

    ShanAmmons! Get cracking on that next post! 🙂

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