Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Project Lifestyle: What Does My Reality Show?

I am a huge fan of Project Runway.  It always amazes me how the designers can create such unique designs.  The process is fascinating.  They receive the challenge, create a pattern, get their materials, and physically construct the garment that shows their individuality while self-evaluating, and fitting it to their models before it is shown on the runway.   It truly is a process, and consistency is key while sticking to their goal no matter the curve balls that might be thrown at them. The lifestyle that we project as Christians to the world is relevant to this. 

Receiving A Challenge
When we truly have Christ in our lives, it shows.  There is a definite change in our behavior, our demeanor and in the way we deal with challenges.  When we have Jesus as our Savior, we are changed from the inside out and our new lives reflect that change.  It is evident in everything we do.  You can’t hide a light, no matter how dim.  It always shines in darkness.  I’ve been around families that know Christ and some who don’t that are facing tragedy.  The difference in their attitude and outlook is night and day: literally darkness and light.

Creating a Pattern
A pattern is a reliable sample of observable characteristics of a person.  Designers use patterns to form a foundation of their ideas.  The patterns that are observable in our lives form the foundation by which people see us.  A fake or phony can be spotted a mile away.  It’s important to back up what we say with our actions.  As Christians we know that we can’t be bad enough to make God love us less, and we can’t be good enough to make Him love us more.  To show a reliable sample of Christ like characteristics to the world, we just need to obey.  It isn’t about being perfect, it’s about trying to be consistent and being humble enough to apologize and ask for forgiveness when we mess up.

Getting the Materials
Where do I get the stuff to make my lifestyle reflect Christ? God’s word gives us what we need.  It is important to know what the Bible says about this.  Ephesians and James are great books to start with.  Reaching out to other people who are also on the journey is a good resource too.  Many times we think that we are the only people in the world that have our specific problems, but that isn’t true.  Having a support system that will listen and help you find the materials you need is a gift.

Constructing our Individuality
God created all of us as individuals.  He loves each of us individually.  There isn’t a cookie cutter that we all have to fit into.  It’s important to be yourself- completely genuine, so that when you do talk about your faith, people believe you because they know you are authentic.  It’s also important not to judge others for being individuals.  God created them the way they are, and they might think you’re as wrong as you think they are.  Loving each other will always trump judging each other-ALWAYS.

It’s important to evaluate ourselves and how we are representing Christ.  Are you going to struggle with messing up and not showing self control all the time? Yes.  Don’t give up, though.  Take responsibility for your struggles, own up to your mistakes and stop beating yourself up for not being perfect.  Personally, I want to hear about Christ from someone who will share their struggles with me, rather than someone who never admits to facing difficulty.  Don’t be afraid to share your process of self-evaluating.  Someone might really need to hear it.

Fitting and Adjusting
If after some self-evaluation, you feel that your lifestyle needs some adjusting, don’t be afraid to do it.  We might need to add some love and humility into our lives, while cutting off some areas of gossip and greed.  While this will help us fit better into God’s plan, it will almost always make us not fit in as well with those who don’t follow Him.  Faith that does nothing, is worth nothing.  Have faith that adjusting your lifestyle to fit into God’s plan will work out for the best, and allow Him to make the needed adjustments in your life.

Being on the Runway
All eyes are on the model on the runway.  All eyes are on us too.  What kind of model are you?  Are you a work in progress that is willing to create a consistent pattern and readjust your lifestyle to reflect Christ in the best way? If so, people will notice and they will want to know what is different about you. 

God loves all of us.  He knows we are imperfect, and He loves those things about us too.  Be yourself, and consistent in your faith when life throws curve balls.  Be who God created you to be and represent Him in the best way you can.

Passages to Ponder:
Matthew 3:8- Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Ephesians 5:8- For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord.  So live as people of light!
James 2:24- So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Kathy Derda, Tammy Holtzapfel, Maria Kucharczuk, Kim McClure and Kristy Tolley

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