Purse

This is the post that I don’t know how to write.
This is the entry that I don’t even know how to begin.

<sits idle    ……   thinking >

It began when I asked for feedback, here, about my Angelina Jolie purse.

I had one discreet friend call me.  She didn’t want to call me out in public.
She shared that the purse wasn’t so bad, until she thought about
her son or her husband looking at it.  So, yes, it was “too much.”

Other friends told me that they liked it.

But it was sweet Naomi, whom I wrote about here, whose words were difficult.

The purse was on my shoulder when I went to Tennessee to visit with her family,
so she saw it in person.

When I wrote about the purse, she responded that  …

well …

that she was angry when she first saw it.
How could I possibly see the purse as being acceptable
when I have written here about modesty?
In other words, she felt I was being hypocritical.

Wow.

Well …
that was just it …
I was struggling with whether it was okay or not.
I WANTED it to be okay.
I really liked the purse.
I liked it because it was a magazine, reinvented into a fun purse
with a funky chain shoulder strap
and a beautiful woman on it.
Not because it had Angelina Jolie on it
or because it was risque.

After I read Naomi’s comment,
I burned the purse.
(Have I mentioned that my Joy is dramatic?
Where,  oh where, does she get that?)

It wasn’t enough to give it away
or even throw it away.
I felt I needed to destroy it
as a symbol that I wanted it gone
removed
singed from my life.

I needed my children to see that I don’t want sin in my life.
I want it removed, destroyed, burned away.
I needed them to see me accept being called out
and taking action to correct what might cause someone to stumble.

I have given the whole situation a great deal of thought….
for months now.
I’ve thought about my responsibility to the men in my life:
acquaintances, loved ones and strangers alike.
I’ve thought about my witness to others …
young girls, church friends, family members, unbelievers ….
and the message the purse may have sent….
that  immodesty is
fun…
desirable…
acceptable.

My mind always drifts back to Paul’s words to the Corinthians.
The tenth chapter tells us that we shouldn’t cause anyone to stumble,
whether Jew, Greek or part of the church (v32).
All things are lawful/legal for me,
but not necessarily helpful or edifying (v23).
We should consider the well-being of others (v24).
Most of this chapter is talking the food that we eat
but Paul adds in verse 31,
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
In fact, Romans 14 is also addressing food issues
but tells us (v13) that we should strive not to be a
stumbling block to our brothers.
How do we know where to draw the line when
(v14)  there is no food that is truly bad (unclean)
only things that we personally think are bad.
My understanding would be that
our conscience should be our guide.
Whether we are talking about
food
clothing
attitude
words
or
accessories.
Our conscience should be our guide.

I guess what it boils down to for me is
if I have to ask the question,
“Is it okay?”
then it probably isn’t.

I’d like to think that my spiritual walk is so mature
that I immediately obey when the Lord speaks to me about something.
Obviously, that would be a prideful and terribly incorrect statement.

Do I have any resolution in my spirit over the matter? No.
But I wanted you to know that I accepted the rebuke
and acted upon it
because I certainly don’t want to be a stumbling block …

Thanks for being brave to share your thoughts, Naomi.
You are precious.

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5 thoughts on “Purse

  1. Thank you for being transparent about your failings, your struggles to discern right from wrong, wise from foolish, and your struggles to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit in your life. We can all benefit from your honest sharing of how these things are not always totally clear and simple, but things we wrestle with.

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  2. Wow, I didn’t know what I said would have such an effect! It took a while of thinking for me to say that. Thank you for listening. Your blog is very encouraging, especially with your faithfulness to loving others.

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    1. Thanks, Naomi…. especially coming from a teen. I think you all (teens) see an impostor faster than anyone else. Thanks again for being brave enough to write/rebuke. You were honest, but not disrespectful. And I appreciate your openness. I look forward to seeing you soon!! Whoowhoo!

      Like

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