I didn’t plan it that way, but the top of our bedroom dresser has become the place to keep my hats—at least some of them. The four hats that currently rest there remind me of different roles that I play in life.

The first hat is the graduation cap I wore when I received my Master’s degree. This hat signifies that I am supposed to be wise. I am not always the sharpest drawer in the knife, but I do know that the Bible says that we are to pursue wisdom. Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, wrote, “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion.” (Prov. 3:21).

Wisdom is not so much the sum of facts that you know as it is the ability to apply your knowledge to make right decisions. Although Solomon had been given the gift of wisdom, he did not always use it. Instead, he pursued all types of worldly pleasures, and, in the end, he suffered greatly for it (See Ecclesiastes). We should learn from Solomon’s mistakes and use our God-given wisdom to make godly decisions.

The next hat on my dresser is a Santa Claus hat. I have wanted one of those for years, and my dreams came true when a friend gave me one this past Christmas.

Since Santa is primarily known for giving gifts to everyone who is not on his “naughty list”, I suppose that the Santa hat represents the fact that I should be generous. The Bible tells us over and over that we should be willing to share what we have with those who are in need. Prov. 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

However, our sinful human nature causes us to tend to be greedy and selfish. Think of all the people in the world who are willing to do just about anything and cheat just about anybody in order to enrich themselves in some underhanded way. How much better off we would be if we would simply take Jesus at his word—“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38).  

The third hat is a wide-brimmed hat that I wear outdoors, usually when I am doing yard work. This hat might signify that I need to be busy doing the things I need to do. The Bible says that we should be diligent about doing our tasks—“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Eccl. 9:10).

However, we humans can tend to be lazy. Prov. 26:14-15 humorously points that out—“As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.” The characters on Hee Haw weren’t even that lazy! We don’t want to be like that! It’s much better to be a hard-working individual.

Finally, there is a captain’s hat on my dresser. I bought this while on vacation a couple of years ago as a novelty item. While I use the hat for humorous purposes, it reminds me of the serious fact that I have been called to be a leader. Parents are to lead their children. Husbands and fathers are to be the head of their household. Some are leaders at work. Some are leaders at church. If you have been gifted to lead, “do it diligently” (Rom. 12:8).

There are many other types of hats that can represent different responsibilities that we have. I guess the point is to do the best you can in every area of your life. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Col. 3:23-24).

For more inspirational writings by Tom Cox, go to www.jesustrek.wordpress.com