Several years ago, A British magazine, Tailor and Cutter, suggested the following guide to be used in tie-buying so as to match the tie to the personality of the wearer:
“Neat patterns are chosen by men modest and careful in thought and action. Stripes are selected by men overwhelmingly conscious of fashion, decisive in action and reluctant to take ‘no’ for an answer. A single motif is chosen by those who are studious, attentive to detail and efficient. Knitted ties are for the flamboyant, with an eye to color. A plain or single color indicates one who is upright, conservative and careful with money. The bow tie is for the extrovert. However, when women buy the ties instead of men, you can throw out the guide. Women are more likely to buy something that appeals to them regardless of the personality of the man who is going to wear the tie. If someone else picks out ties for you, the ties may not reflect your personality at all. Worse than that, they may misrepresent you.”
When I read this, it occurred to me that there is an important analogy that is suggested by it. The pattern of the lives of some does not always represent what they really are. Their pattern of life (called today, “Lifestyle”) often misrepresents them. The reason for this: they allow the views of others to determine their choices in life. Faith and conscience, in the eyes of God, are intimately personal things. The faith of another will not suffice for me. My faith must represent my personal conviction relative to that which is true and right. The conscience of another person cannot be substituted for my conscience, even though there are many fanatical brethren who seem to think that their consciences should be the consciences of every member of the congregation in which they hold membership. Even “public consciences” – the norm of behavior that is the consensus of society in general – sometimes called, “social conscience,” will not do. Conscience must be based upon absolute personal conviction concerning which is right and what is wrong.
All of us like to please our peers; hence we often allow peer pressure to determine the course of our lives. In other words, we are letting somebody else select our spiritual ties. Therefore, our actions do not truly represent our basic convictions. This is a species of hypocrisy in reverse, and it emanates from cowardice. Christians must “dare to be different.” They must make their own choices. They must stand on their own convictions. No other course will meet the approval of God. Paul says, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). The faith to which he refers is one’s personal faith in the rightness or wrongness of any act the Christian performs. A life lived in conformity to what one honestly believes to be wrong will damn his soul whether it is wrong or not. The following poem well expresses what the Christian should do in life:
Paddle Your Own Canoe
Voyager upon life’s sea, to yourself be true;
And where’er your lot may be, paddle your own canoe.
Would you crush the tyrant, Wrong, in the world’s fierce fight?
With a spirit brave and strong, battle for the Right;
And to break the chains that bind the many to the few –
To enfranchise the slavish mind,
Paddle your own canoe. — Sarah K. Bolton
Represent yourself as you are. Select your own ties!
James W. Adams
Hebrews 13:5-6—…”I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (6) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Romans 8:18—For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
1 Corinthians 15:58—Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.