Monday, January 20, 2014

Leather vs Pleather

It’s trending in fashion today; leather…or pleather…whichever one I choose.  I could wear a sweet leather jacket, or I could choose a top that just had accents of leather on the shoulders or elbows.  I’ve found that I would prefer pleather (plastic leather) to the real deal because it’s more affordable, and I find easier to clean.

However, as much as I like the faux leather in my fashion, I would never choose the imitation in my friends.  I want my friends to be REAL.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:9 to “Let love be without hypocrisy.” 

In the original text, the word used for hypocrisy here is hypokrinomai, which means “to impersonate anyone, to play a part, to feign, to pretend.”

Now, tell me if THAT doesn’t cut to the core of many of our relationship problems.  Impersonating someone or playing the part of someone else…how many times have we done that before? 

In spite of the ease of care that pleather provides me, and the smaller price tag, how else does the “imitation” measure up to the real thing?

Pleather, being synthetic, doesn’t allow one’s skin to breathe.  Leather, being a natural material, allows air to flow through it.  So, I’ll often find that in my pleather pants or shoes made of ‘man-made material’, the heat given off from my body will get trapped in and will act as a sweat-box of sorts.  Eeeewwww…

In the same way, our faux relationships suffocate us.  They don’t let air in or out.  We might be suffering because of a break down in a friendship, but if we try to repair that break down by putting a bandage on it; a mask which covers up the wound and doesn’t let people see the real hurt, we don’t let any air in and the relationship slowly dies of suffocation.  As we know, we may need to cover a wound while we sleep by covering it up, but often, we’re also told to “let it breathe” and leave it uncovered for a while.

God knows that we have real hurts in our relationships.  He instructs us to make sure those relationships stay real, by allowing them to breathe, by keeping them uncovered.

How do we avoid putting on a mask that might help us feel more confident with others?  I have decided that the best way for me to stay real is by staying humble.  I have had to admit that I am a sinner, that apart from God I have and am nothing.  I am no better than anyone else, and I can’t go around my whole life pretending to be someone that I’m not; trying to get people to like me by wearing a mask and playing a part.  

So, no matter what our choice of fashion is; in our relationships, the choice is obvious; we should choose leather over pleather. 

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