Monday, November 19, 2012

Tips on How to be Fashionable that you're done laughing out loud, I'll admit it may seem strange that I, of all people, would be giving advice on how to be 'fashionable.'  As you may have noticed from my choice of thrift store clothes, keeping up with the latest fashions is not high on my list of priorities.
But let's think about the word fashionable for a minute.  I was pondering this word once while I was walking through a clothing store (if you count Wal-Mart as a clothing store ha!).
As a verb, according to, the word 'fashion' means:

tr.v. fash·ionedfash·ion·ingfash·ions
1. To give shape or form to; make: fashioned a table from a redwood burl.
2. To train or influence into a particular state or character.
3. To adapt, as to a purpose or an occasion; accommodate.
So logically, it follows that if you are fashionable, that means you are able to be fashioned by something, right?  In the way we use the word, it means you are able to be defined by what the culture considers to be trendy or attractive when it comes to clothing.  You are able to be fashioned by celebrities, fashion designers, friends, Hollister and American Eagle.  (If those are even fashionable anymore...I don't know.)
Am I taking the word a little out of context?  Maybe.  But bear with me.
Thinking of the word in this way, I thought, do I really want to be fashionable?  Do I want to be able to be fashioned by the fashion industry or anyone else?  The answer is no and yes, actually.  I do NOT want to be able to be fashioned by culture, retail stores, magazines, or TV stars...but there is Someone I want to be able to be fashioned by.
As I have been at college, I have done a lot of self-evaluating and had to consider who I really am when you strip away all the external things that I DO.  What manifests itself that's in my heart?  How do people see me who do not already have preconceived notions about me based on the things I've done?
I realized that at home, I was starting to become defined by the things I was doing like Bible studies, teaching at church, youth group or Sunday school, acting in drama groups, working on radio dramas, writing, Bible Quizzing, etc.  I derived value from the way my friends, family, and people at my church saw me.  But put me in a situation where I don't really know anybody, and more importantly, where nobody knows me, and what comes out?
What I've come to realize through this self-evaluation is that I have so much room for growth.  I know the Bible says those that compare themselves among themselves are not wise, but sometimes, it's helpful to evaluate yourself based on where other people are at.  I have imagined myself in different situations in the future, like in a career, marriage, living on my own, settling down with a family, teaching, or working creatively, and in each setting I imagine myself, I keep seeing over and over that I fall way short right now of what I could be in each of these situations.  "But Michael," you say, "you aren't in those situations!  You don't have to measure up to what you're supposed to be in those environments right now."  That's true.  But I want to be workable so that God can mold me into the person He wants me to be right now, so I'll be prepared for those situations.  I see need for growth, and my constant prayer is that God will 'fashion' me into the person He wants me to be.  (Were you wondering when the 'fashioning' part of this blog was going to come back into play?)
Looking at how the word fashion is used in Scripture is an interesting study.  I thought of a few headings for these verses to help us gain an understanding of what it means to be fashioned by God.
He already created and fashioned us with an intent in bring glory to Him.
Job_31:15  Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
Psa_33:15  He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
Isa_29:16  Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? 
Isa_45:9  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 
Isa_64:8  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 
Jer_18:6  O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. 
We were created with an intent in mind, but because of sin, we fall short of that, yet God gives us instructions on how to return to His idea for how we should be fashioned.  Check out these verses about fashioning:
Gen_6:15  And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 
Exo_26:30  And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount. 
Exo_37:19  Three bowls made after the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three bowls made like almonds in another branch, a knop and a flower: so throughout the six branches going out of the candlestick. 
1Ki_6:38  And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it. 
Psa_119:73  JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. 
Eze_42:11  And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they, and as broad as they: and all their goings out were both according to their fashions, and according to their doors. 
All these verses talk about specific plans God gave to people so that they would fashion things according to His plan.  Of course there are also examples of people fashioning things according to their own plans, or according to the ideas of the world.
Exo_32:4  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
2Ki_16:10  And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
Isa_22:11  Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago. 
Isa_44:12  The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. 
We also have warnings of how quickly those things pass away...
1Co_7:31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. 
Jas_1:11  For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 

I may talk more about design in future posts.  At college, I had to write what they called a 'meditation commentary' every week on a different subject and how it related to a design, so I thought about publishing those short essays on the blog every day for about 9 days in the near future.

But back to the topic at hand...
My point with all this is that there are many things we can be fashioned by.  Scripture warns that the companion of fools will be destroyed and that evil company corrupts good character, and I don't want any part of that.  But the greatest fear for me is that I will become so hard-hearted and stuck in my ways that God can't work with me.  I never want to become hardened clay like that.  I always want to be fashion-able by God.
Some of my favorite verses in psalms talk about God changing our heart, like Psalm 51:10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."  Another is  Psalm 139:23-24  "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  (24)  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  I used to think of these verses differently, but now when I pray them I cannot say it with any self-righteousness or pride by saying, "Go ahead, God!  Look and see how clean my heart is!  You got nuthin' on me, devil!"  That's not what the psalmist was trying to get across at all.  These verses are quoted right after an entire psalm about how intricately God created and knows us, and thus, it is fitting to end the psalm by asking God to continue to fashion according to His will.  I want Him to search my heart and know my thoughts, and see if there is even the slightest impurity that conflicts with His plan, and if there is, I want Him to purge it out, and continually lead me in the way everlasting.

So am I saying that it is wrong to appear in a way that is nice, and trendy, and acceptable to society?  Not at all.  I just wanted to use that term to segue into my main point.  What then ARE my tips on how to be fashionable in the right way?
1. Be humble, and recognize that you are not everything that you are supposed to be yet.
2. Search the Scriptures and find out what the model is for how we are to be fashioned.  (Jesus is the standard, by the way, in case you need a helpful hint to getcha going.)
3. Spend time with God and make sure you have a mold-able, usable, fashionable spirit that He can work with.  (which is really a sub point of being humble.)
4. Look to God for who you should be, not references in the world and among people.
5. Be content with the unchangeable things about the way God made you, and look to Him to change the rest!

Especially at the time of year when we are supposed to be giving thanks for what we have, and attempting not to become overcome by the commercialism so present the very day after, as we try not to get trampled trying to get the most fashionable stuff (ironic, isn't it?), I thought this would be a good thought to throw out there.  It has certainly been something I've been thinking about.  I want to be fashion-able by God.  My heart's prayer, as I hope yours is "That I may know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death."  God bless you all!

Philippians 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 

1Peter 1:14-16  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  (15)  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  (16)  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


  1. I love this thought, it's been something the Lord has been impressing upon my heart as well... to remember that He's not finished with me yet- how I must continually remain humble and pliable, with my heart ever surrendered to His will and His purpose for me. Humility is such a beautiful thing.

    Ha, I love your tips on being more fashionable-- believe it or not most of them translate very well into actual clothing choices, and the way to respond to fashion Biblically: Keep humility in the forefront of your mind (not drawing attention to yourself), find out what the Bible says about clothes (modest adornment), cry out to the Lord and seek Him in the way you dress-- that you may be pleasing in His sight.

    Just throwing that out there... :-)

  2. Ha that's awesome, Amy! Thanks for throwing that out there! So true! Maybe you CAN get a little godly fashion advice from this post. lol

  3. Wow, Amy, I love how you show that this applies to actual clothing choices! Michael, I love your perspective (fashion-able!!). This was brilliant. Of course, I had to sigh with relief when I realized you weren't going to give clothing advice. Haha, just kidding. ;)

  4. You mentioned a hard heart being like hardened clay. We have clay where we live, and in the summertime, unless you soak the ground for several hours, it's impossible to work with/dig in. As I read, a Psalm came to my mind: "My soul thirsteth for God as a dry and thirsty land where no water is." We become like the hardened clay ground without God. He is the water that keeps the clay of our hearts soft and fashion-able. :)
    Thank you for this reminder that it is so important to spend time with God. :)

    1. Thanks Emily! That is such a powerful and applicable verse! Thanks for bringing that up. Beautiful point--spending time with God is the only way we can soften our hearts so that He can work it. Great example!