“Be who you is, or you is who you ain’t.”
I love that quote and wish I knew who said it first. But that statement is so good and even liberating for a guy like me.
Why? Because I’m not all that trendy.
- I stopped wearing Converse tennis shoes about fifty years ago.
- You don’t want to see me in tight jeans. Ever. Besides, I need to breathe.
- As I mentioned in a recent blog about age, I do have an iPhone, but I carry it in a belt holster, which isn’t very cool.
- Oh, and I’ve been wearing Hawaiian shirts for about forty years, give or take a decade.
Apparently, Hawaiian shirts are back and in vogue again, but I’ll still be wearing them even when they’re not.
Here’s the thing: There’s nothing necessarily evil about being trendy. There’s also nothing automatically good about being hip. (Is that word still a thing?) But I suggest some trend evaluation is in order.
Here are five things—both good and bad—that you can learn from trends:
1. Trends keep things fresh.
I might not be all that trendy, but I generally like the fact that trends come and go because they keep things from getting boring. As much as I love a good Tommy Bahama, if everybody wore them all of the time, it’d be a terribly dull world.
2. Trends tend to push us out of our comfort zones.
Let’s own it; we are creatures of habit. Some habits are good (like brushing your teeth). Some habits are not-so-good (like checking your Instagram every ten minutes). But a good trend might result in a healthy change in our lives.
3. Trends can make us judgmental.
We often compare ourselves to others, don’t we? And when someone isn’t as cool as we think, we have a nasty way of looking down on them at times. As previously mentioned in last week’s post, I sometimes can be defensive, but you’d be surprised (or maybe not) how many times I have been teased about my Hawaiian shirts. Perhaps people and their feelings matter more than being fashionable or chic.
4. Trends can be expensive.
I have a buddy whose teenage daughter insisted she needed the newest iPhone. Her iPhone 7 is fine, but it’s not as sweet as the iPhone XS Max for a mere $1,249. He asked me what I thought. I suggested his fifteen-year-old needs to learn about wise financial management.
5. Trends can make us numb to wise and godly choices.
Just because “everybody is watching it” or “everybody is doing it” doesn’t make it good. One of the more serious problems with trends is the way they sometimes normalize the abnormal. Another issue is the way they desensitize us to what is moral and modest. Thong bikinis are trendy and certainly better than going naked to the beach—but not much better.
So, I’ll be clear. I’m not suggesting that women wear dresses below the knees or that flip-phones are good and smartphones are of the devil.
I like change.
I like variety.
I like progress.
I like some trends.
However, as a man, husband, dad, leader, pastor, and Christ-follower, it’s good for me to do a regular heart-check when it comes to trends.
Is it useful or harmful to me or others? It is godly or not? Is it wise? Is it what Jesus would do? (And yes, I know WWJD is no longer trendy, but it’s still quite valid nonetheless.)
I hope this gives you something to think about the next time you go shopping or turn on the TV.