I’m a terrible dresser. (As evidenced by two previous posts on the matter). The running church joke is that I’ve only got one coat, one jumper, and one tie. And even though I may get new jumpers and coats as gifts, I find myself, like a creature of habit, returning to the same old clothes i’ve always worn.
My favourite preaching ensemble has to be that brown jumper, a white shirt, and my black blazer. And my one pair of black trousers to complete the look. I’d describe myself somewhat like a Gap mannequin on a bad day. And on the days i’m not preaching you’ll either find me sporting my black hoodie (which by the way was a replacement black hoodie for the black hoodie i’d lost) or my infamous Kern top (i purchased a font so I could get the free top, sad but true).
It’s not like I haven’t tried to remake my look. And it’s not like Phan hasn’t tried to help me with this matter either. A month ago I even forced myself to go shopping with full intent on purchasing some new clothes. I was this close to buying a green v-neck jumper. But the fear of looking like JLS eventually put me off.
Countless people have offered me advice, tips, and even consulting shopping trips with me – and yet I find myself returning to the same pieces of clothing that I’ve always worn.
Am I bad dresser or a creature of habit?
Maybe i’m a little of both. Or maybe I’m just stubborn. Perhaps there’s part of me that simply refuses to trust or accept good advice. I surmise that in all of us, there’s this desire to be masters of our own destiny, creators of our own image. And no amount of good or wise advice can get us to change our ways.
In my walk with God, i’ve probably seen Him as someone who gives good advice. And, using my own free will, it’s up to me whether to accept or reject that good advice. I can choose to listen to God, or I can choose to do my own thing. And when my own situation goes a little pear shaped, I’ll just ask for some help from God, and I trust that he’ll sort the situation out.
But something in Barry’s message on Sunday challenged that conception. God is not some great psychotherapist in the sky giving me sagely advice. He is no wizard of Oz. No, the truth of the matter is, I am far more unwell than I realise, and my prayer to God should not be one for advice. Rather, I should be praying for him to change my thinking!
Have you ever asked God to change the way you think? We frequently ask God to change the situation, to remove the obstacles – but do you ask God to teach you how to think?
People can give me all the advice in the world on how to dress, but let’s face it, i simply have no sense of style. I need to be taught how to tell what’s tasteful and what’s gaudy.
How much more important than is it to ask God to show us how to think! How to approach the situations that we’re in, how to interact with the people around us, how to decide what is right and what is wrong. Let your prayer now be a humble request not for God’s advice, but for him to teach you how to think.1
These were some thoughts about the fourteenth episode in our series on Joshua. You can find all the the messages as well as the worship at the BCEC Sermon Page or or listen to the sermon directly – Joshua 9.