Every year in May, we honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free.
Memorial Day is often celebrated with extra vacation time and cookouts. I often wonder if we are forgetting to teach our younger generations about the cost to celebrate in such a way.
Honoring our military who gave their lives and freedom for ours can be done in many ways. Perhaps the most important are passing the history on to our children and teaching them to live in ways that show honor, rather than just spending one day a year eating hot dogs and setting off fireworks.
In a very similar way as Christians, we are to be vessels that honor the One who created us and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our eternal freedom.
My mind immediately goes to pottery when I think of vessels. In Jeremiah’s day, pottery was made quite differently. The clay would sit atop a round disc, supported by a post (think of a table). Rather than that post being on the ground, though, it was attached to yet another disc that sat suspended in a hole dug in the earth.
Modern pottery is often formed while the disc spins from electric power. Ancient pottery, however, required the potter to use his own energy. Sitting at the wheel, he would use his feet to turn the lower disc, making the entire table spin. In order to gain enough speed to form the clay, it often took the potter’s entire body and energy to keep the wheel moving.
Did you get that? The potter put his entire body to use when he used the wheel. The resulting vessel was a reflection of the potter’s handiwork.
If Christ is our “master potter”, then we are to be reflections of Him. We are to be vessels of honor which point others to the Master.
That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.1 Thessalonians 2:12, KJV
Honor = Value
So how do we reflect our Master in His handiwork? How do we become “vessels of honor” that are worthy of Him?
What we put in
- Our minds – This is a large, almost overwhelming topic:
- The list could go on and on….
Romans 12:2 reminds us to “renew” our minds, to be “transformed”. All the worldly things listed above (and more) “conform” us to be like everyone else. In order to be vessels that honor God, we need to replace those things with godly resources.
(If you need encouragement or guidance in finding these types of resources, please reach out. There are many different sources to connect with here!)
We are created in the image of God, and the mind is part of that image. In it, God shows us His will and communicates with us. Thus, we should GUARD IT! Just as those soldiers guard our country and our freedoms with their entire lives at stake, we should even more be vigilant to protect our minds from ANY thing that will deter us from pointing others or breaking our fellowship with God.
What else do we put things into?
- Our body! We can’t even go an hour in our day without hearing or reading something about food or dieting or exercise. This also includes alcohol, which is a hot topic, even among Christians today. (We’ll cover that more in depth some other time.) What about drugs (even prescription ones) or so-called “therapeutic” treatments?
I am not, trust me, one to say that I have conquered these. So please do not feel I am putting myself on a pedestal here. It is a constant work of progress, especially with diet and exercise.
What we put on
Now here is a topic that is touchy. It is so easy to say, “There is nothing long enough,” or “That’s the way they’re wearing them these days.”
One of my favorite quotes that I repeat to young ladies is “Raise your arms and touch your toes. If something shows, go change your clothes.” But the problem is these days, they don’t even have to raise or touch anything. Stuff shows.
Mamas, can I talk to you a minute?
I remember being young and wanting to be fashionable. Maybe you were young and you were fashionable. Either way, we want our daughters to be accepted and not laughed out of middle school.
Please hear me out: we are placing our daughters on very, VERY shaky ground. Why are we willing to have our most precious gifts put on display for the whole world to see? Yes, they are beautiful. Yes, be proud of them. But just like we wrap their birthday and Christmas presents to surprise them, leave their bodies wrapped for the one special person God intends for them to marry.
My heart ACHES each time there is a dance or prom and see pictures on social media. These young ladies are flaunting their bodies and causing young men to think lustful thoughts toward them. We have no business being a stumbling block to others, and lust is wrong!
I know. I hear you. “It’s his business what he thinks; that’s his problem with his thought life.”
Listen to me: It is EVERYBODY’s business. And if we think what we do does not affect someone else, we are wrong. Dead wrong. That is pride (another sin).
Ouch. Yes, it hurts. But what is worse? Our daughters will never be satisfied with being sexy and wearing the latest trends. It all changes; our bodies change. One day, I don’t care how beautiful we are, what is on the inside will matter.
Modesty does not have to mean plain, frumpy, or ugly. Yes, there are some very cute and modest, stylish clothes out there if we will just spend some time looking.
Guard your daughter, mama. Guard her body AND her mind.
What is inside will ALWAYS show up on the outside.
We have to remind ourselves that we are made in God’s image, and just as the mind is a vital part of that, so is the body. Paul reminds us that we must take care of these things daily in order to be available for God to use:
If a man therefore purge himself from these [dishonorable things], he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet [or available, ready] for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.2 Timothy 2:21, KJV
Instead of spending so much time trying to be stylish and alluring on the outside, let’s spend more time making the inside beautiful. It will come out, I promise, and others will see the beauty, no matter what we are wearing or how much we weigh.
That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor;…For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”1 Thessalonians 4:4 and 7, KJV
Holiness is a topic we will have to also cover another day, but think about it this way:
- If what you are doing or wearing were to be in front of God, in person, alone, would you still do it? Or would you wear something a little less revealing?
Because you know, as Christians, we not only represent God to the world, we also stand before Him daily as our Lord. If we do not see Him as our Lord, in that way, then we need to examine our spiritual status. Where did we get off course? How did we get where we are? What needs to change?
You are Valuable
If the devil can gain access to just one of these areas we talked about here, he can (and he will) destroy your witness and your purpose. He will turn the world’s eyes from your Creator.
As a daughter of the King, you are valuable. You are His vessel, His workmanship. So how are you showing that value to the world, to your family, to your church?
Are you a vessel of honor?
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10, KJV