Friday, June 26, 2009

God Isn't Looking at My Clothes or Your Education

Three times in the last ten days, the subject of clothing has come up - more specifically the idea that if a person wears a suit, they are an intelligent, hard-working, righteous individual and that a person wearing casual attire is believed to be not as ambitious, sophisticated or respectable as their well-dressed counterparts. While I agree that a person's clothing may offer some small insight into their personalities, I don't think we can use this as the indicator of a person's work ethic or personal integrity or as a measurement of their faith commitment. These are things that we can know about people only after spending time with them. I can't say that I don't notice what other people are wearing, but I refuse to let that form my impression of them.

That said...I began to ask myself if there was something about people that would cause me to make an instant decision as to their character. I'm sorry to say that it didn't take me long to come up with something. I realized that a person's education has always led me to make an instant determination about that person. I graduated high school and took a few basic college courses, but was unable to continue my education. A college degree is a luxury I can't afford and can do without in my chosen profession. Still, among the seven adults in my family, we have a paralegal degree, two Masters and one Doctorate of Electrical Engineering, two Executive MBAs, one PA Teaching Certificate as well as a Bachelor in Secondary Education, and two members of the family who have more than two years of college each. So you see, education is very important in my family.

When I meet someone who has put the time and effort into earning a degree - I make the immediate assumption that they are somehow better and smarter than me. I know that sounds irrational. I can tell myself repeatedly that their education doesn't divide us into separate "classes" but I'm not sure I will ever measure up to them in my own mind. However, God doesn't see us that way and I shouldn't either. I guess I just have to keep reminding myself that in Christ "there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free..." (Colossians 3:11, NIV) In his eyes, there is no difference between you and me no matter what we wear or how much we have learned because he created each of us and loves us just as we are. So my clothes don't make me any more or less significant to him and neither does the extent of your education. Isn't that great news?
About the pictures:
North Park (2002)

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