Oh goodness; it has been FOREVER since I’ve written a #MondayMessage for you all! How have yall been? What’s new? What’s happening? How are you feeling, Beloved? As I wait for yall to respond in the messages, I’m gonna dive into today’s topic, ok? Ok…
Above is the Google-found definition of the word Paraphernalia. You may be familiar with this word, whether in a positive way (a sorority or fraternity association) or in a negative way (a drug or crime association) or maybe even not at all; however, paraphernalia is simply equipment or things associated with some organization or activity. Now, I can already tell that I’ve lost you because you think that you don’t own any paraphernalia, or ‘nalia as I call it… but here’s the thing, you do! You see that Bible on your desk, that volunteer shirt or badge that you wear, or even those name brand clothing items that you wear??? Yep, all of those things are ‘nalia for a particular company or organization. We are so deeply embedded in the labels (ahem, ‘nalia) that we wear or own that we often forget about their existence. Anyway, let’s get into a brief story time and today’s lesson/blessing.
One day I was driving somewhere and I was on the phone with my best friend. I was doing my usual- speeding- and I said to her that if it weren’t for the identifying items (church, Delta, God Happened To Me stickers and an OES license plate frame) on my car, my driving would be way worse. I laughed for a second and I thought she did, too, until a few days later when she revisited that conversation. What she said to me that day is what I’m sharing with you today: As Christians, how do we act when we think no one can identify us?
You see, I was under the mistaken impression that I could behave however I wanted when I wasn’t decked out in Christ-related, Delta-related, or God Happened To Me-related paraphernalia. However, the truth is, whether I am in those items or not, I am still a Christian, a Delta, a Christian business owner, etc. and I should always act accordingly.
But it’s so much easier not to…
The ‘nalia that I wear, contrary to my own mistaken beliefs, is neither tangible nor visible- it is in my heart. Beloved, in that moment that we accepted Christ into our heart we said that we were taking in everything that He is, in place of everything that we were. We are dying to self daily and allowing the love of God through His Holy Spirit to live within us. We don’t need a Jesus shirt, Bible, Cross or any other type of ‘nalia to show Whose we are; we need only allow what’s inside of us to shine through in all that we do and say.
So, Beloved, what ‘nalia are you wearing today?