Posts Tagged: "metaphor"

The Gardener by Brian Zahnd

I’ve been thinking a lot about metaphors lately—especially the ones most commonly used in church. Whatever metaphor or metaphors we choose to be primary will inevitably shape both our perspective and approach—how we think and how we behave.

The military metaphor is one we’re all familiar with. “I’m in the Lord’s army… Yes Sir!” (I sang that a lot as a kid growing up in church). What I don’t love about this metaphor is how simplistic, black and white, its perspective is. Either you’re fighting with me or you are my enemy. Everyone is either a good guy or a bad guy. Life is a battle. There are winners and there are losers.

The competitive metaphor is similar. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt says, “This tribal psychology is so deeply pleasurable that even when we don’t have tribes, we go ahead and make them, because it’s fun. Sports is to war as pornography is to sex. We get to exercise some ancient, ancient drives.” So in sports, you’re either fighting with me or you are my opposition. Life is a contest. There are winners and there are losers. Nobody wants a tie.

While these types of metaphors are certainly found in Scripture, I do wonder about people who… Read More

What Not To Wear

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Do the names Stacey London and Clinton Kelly sound familiar to you?

They’re the hosts of The Learning Channel’s “What Not To Wear.”

Approaching its 10th season with over 300+ episodes, it’s a fashion makeover reality TV show.

Apparently there has been no shortage of candidates needing a fashion intervention.

Each show begins with Stacey and Clinton appearing on location for a surprise attack on the unsuspecting, chronic fashion offender (whose family and friends ever so lovingly nominated them for the show).

After this initial public humiliation and promise of a $5,000 shopping spree for new clothing, they bring the offender and her wardrobe to New York for a critical evaluation.

As they go through the fashion faux pas wardrobe, they toss every item of clothing that breaks their rules of fashion.

Watching this happen makes you feel sad for the individual…

Sad because the whole process seems rather cruel and humiliating.

Sad because you see how oblivious the person is to what they’ve been looking like.

Sad because you see the sense of loss she feels as they throw away her favorite clothing.

Of course, redemption comes at the end of the show.

The newly made-over fashion offender emerges with a new hairstyle and makeup, and a brand-new wardrobe that meets Stacey and Clinton’s fashion rules. What’s particularly redemptive about the makeover “reveal” is how the individual radiates with a new-found sense of confidence and joy—almost as if she discovered her true self in the process.

TLC’s “What Not To Wear” reminds me of a metaphor the Bible uses…

Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. —Colossians 3.12 MSG

Our old way of living, before we received Christ, is the old wardrobe.

It’s out-of-date, out-of-fashion, obsolete, it no longer fits, and it needs to be thrown out.

Sometimes, we resist letting go of the old look.

We’ve grown attached to it and we struggle to picture ourselves looking differently.

But God has something redemptive in store for us. Our job is to simply trust Him.

We’ve been GIVEN a new wardrobe—custom made by our Creator, with his label on it.

In this new wardrobe, we radiate. We look as if we have discovered our true selves—we have confidence and joy.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve made some huge fashion mistakes and broken plenty of rules in my day…

Maybe tomorrow I’ll share some pictures.


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