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Here are a few things I’ve learned as of Day 3 on my Lenten hairless journey:

  1. My wife and daughter are pretty much past the “surprised by the intruder in the house” effect of my unhairdo.
  2. My reflection is becoming less startling to me.
  3. I can pull shirts and sweaters on and off and not worry about messing up my hair.
  4. My hats are suddenly very loose.

It is so amazing to me how sinful my heart is wrestling over this spiritual exercise. Case in point, my hats. It still being winter outside, I’m finding that my stocking cap is all the more needed for my now-exposed dome. But when I get indoors, especially in public establishments where the cashiers, sales associates, or waitstaff know me, my sinful heart is struggling when to take off the hat.

If I do it immediately, is it seen as an act of pride and self-confidence or one of opportunity to tell my story?

If I keep it on, am I wearing it as an insecurity or wanting to avoid conversation, or of humility not wanting to boast in my act of Lenten observation?

Consequentially, this act of stripping away identity is continuing to identify how twisted my mind and heart will be until Jesus makes me whole. I’ve come to find that my hat decisions are moment-by-moment decisions based on where my heart wants to hide. If I’m dying to talk to someone about it, I keep it on. If I feel a tad embarrassed or bothered with the thought of talking about it, I take it off.

This is our temporal/temporary (until the grave) hat dance that we all must do to be “in Christ;” that is, to put off one’s self-protection and self-promotion and to live for and in Christ. I must not live in the sinful heart I inherited for it is written,

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22

What are you learning about your natural bent; your natural ‘identity’ versus living “in Christ”?

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