Just a little bit.
A stroke of colour.
Or extra material.
We often call them finishing touches.
Added for the delight of the eyes.
I am talking about the bits that are not necessarily required for the finished product to achieve what it was designed to, but are added to enhance or offer some sort of glamour.
Such as the enhancing of a property fence with attractive gates, the addition of fancy fence pickets, or a multiple use of colours.
Maybe it is the addition of bling when designing an outfit; the pulling together of a craft project or the use of extra types of material when one type could do the same job, only the end project would look so much more attractive.
Too much effort can be placed on looking good, whether it is for the benefit of others or to make ourselves feel better, when in fact the very basic job will do.
Recently, I was giving this some serious thought after reading about ‘religious lace’ and wondering what that really meant.
What is lace really good for? What purpose does this have?
Matthew 5:33-37 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. “
Oh don’t get me wrong, I am like most girls, a bit of lace is nice, it can add the final touch that is needed and most definitely bring together a project in a way that no other can.
But lace on it’s own?
It is not able to hold any substance, but can leave a mark if left lying in one spot for a time.
It has little strength in itself, but adhered to the right material will last in the place it is put for as long as it needs.
Lace is not necessary, but it brings a touch like no other.
Lace is pretty, but on it’s own, not necessarily useful.
Just as this passage says, the addition of lace does not make a project any more true than it is, nor does it provide help or support. It just is there; an addition.
A project cannot be made any truer with the adding of lace.
Nor can the adding of ‘prettiness’ in our lives make us any more true than who we really are – things such as those added words that we say that we have no commitment to or the promises we make that we do not intend to keep.
What a reality check this reading was!
No matter what I put on the surface to allow others to see, regardless of how poignant my speech may be, if it does not line up with the person I am working towards becoming, the person I desire to be used by God to influence others through His grace, then it is for no reason.
Sure, it will make the appearance so much nicer; it may be impressive to some. But when others get closer to me, know me deeper they will soon be able to see through the lace. After all, lace has very little substance!
I am not likely to ever say I do not like lace. It is very pretty, it can and often does bring the final touch to a project I am working on. But I now have a different view of it, and a respect of the implications that ‘religious lace’ can have.