When I was young I was often told to save nice clothing, food, and so on for a special occasion.
I’m not even talking about very formal clothes or even very special rare food, just anything that looked remotely presentable for wearing in public or something that was nice to eat that was too good for around the house. As I grew older it came naturally to avoid eating things I like even if already paid for to save for some undefined occasion and wearing any of decent clothing I had available. I would put on the worst things I could find with holes and stains while alone and if I couldn’t find anything “bad” to wear after a shower I was at a loss as to what to put on. This behavior with clothing makes sense if there isn’t much to wear but even after my situation improved and I had enough, that one little spot on a nice top wouldn’t leave me with anything else to wear. It was still hard for me to wear anything presentable for myself.
As an adult I thought about what these messages really mean. I am not saying it is wrong to save something special for another time, but when it is taken so far that to suggest that anything good-not even your best things-is not good for you to have on a consistent basis really isn’t healthy. Basically the underlying message is that the mere possibility of impressing strangers in the future is a higher priority than having something good to wear or eat right now. Also putting everything you would enjoy on hold for some undefined occasion is teaching that your own life in the present isn’t worth enjoying and being alive isn’t a special occasion. This sort of thinking teaches children that they are not valuable enough to have anything that good and what you think of others is more important than family. We should, instead, teach children to value everyone equally.
Again, don’t get me wrong. Do I think there are some cases when it is worth saving a particular outfit or item for a special occasion? Of course. I am not going off the deep end. I am not saying we have to all walk around in tuxedoes and full gowns 24-7, eating the rarest treats our budgets can handle off of gold plates to prove life is worth living. It wouldn’t be practical to wear a full length ball gown to mow the yard. It would be wise to give three year olds more kid friendly dishes instead of pulling out the fine china, for their safety to prevent them from being hurt with broken plates. But notice, I think protecting children should be the motive from withholding nice plates, not valuing the plates above the children. Likewise, with clothing or anything that is worn or used. The motivation should be what is best for the situation, not because a certain situation is more important than a person.
The Jewish Bible says, “It is a gift from Elohim to be able to eat and drink and experience the good that comes from every kind of hard work.” Ecclesiastes 3:13 “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. So believers in Yeshua should be teaching that being alive is something special to enjoy. It is important for us to remember we are always in the presence of the God of Israel and we shouldn’t dress less in front of God than before other people. And considering the cost of our redemption we shouldn’t consider decent food or decent clothes more valuable than we are. We are children of God redeemed with the blood of God. We shouldn’t be more concerned about impressing strangers than what God thinks of us and put a low estimate on our worth when God values us so much.
Picture originally found here