2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
We are called again and again and again not to be of this world, to be set apart. Not to live as the world lives.
And ….be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
Do not conform to this place and time, do not fit in, set yourself apart for God living according to His design.
The challenge is to be separate from this world while being in it; the day to day practical challenges – clothing, vocabulary. Holding yourself apart, but not making a show of it. A thin line to walk; set apart, but without drawing undue attention in the effort not to fit in; where that line is, that is the daily question we all have to struggle with. Reaching the world, ministering to the world and bringing in the harvest but not being incorporated into the world.
This is a topic that floats in my head often, I sit and nurse and my mind wanders to the bigger questions of a practical Christian life. We live in a rural location that requires a good amount of car time to go and do normal life stuff, and the boys are not much for conservation yet. I think, some times I feel lost with my thoughts.
I do not have the answers, but I do have a lot of not-quite-random thoughts. Solid thoughts and rabbit trails. Glossier thoughts that are vague feelings and elude good text. I am reading with thirst and pray about this. I spent this summer making a conscious effort to dress more modestly and make the very difficult choice to give away or send to Goodwill many tops I genuinely like and think I look nice in because of the lack of sleeves or “better coverage”.
Books I have on my reading pile –
- Called to Womanhood: A Biblical View for Today’s World I am part of the way though and while it is much more a discussion of the feminist movement and the Christian place in that, it is very interesting as it specks to a females concept of self.
- I just got A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue Wendy Shalit in the mail and I am excited to dive into it.
I also have a very long wish list on this topic. This is not a new conviction or consideration to me, but an area of interest for a long time. A quiet nagging, if you will. Something that returns to me again and again. But, alas something I have yet to find a good resolution to. Books on my wish list
- Becoming a Woman of Discretion: Cultivating a Pure Heart in a Sensual World
- Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America I refuse to buy this – it is not a book. It is a pamphlet. But I do desire to read it. Mass consumption of data here.
- How to Be Good in a World Gone Bad: Living a Life of Christian Virtue
- The Beauty of Modesty: Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture (Leaders in Action)
- True Sexual Morality: Recovering Biblical Standards for a Culture in Crisis
- Dressing with Dignity
- Feminine Appeal
And before anyone asks, YES I’d actually love to read all on them, and yes I do read THAT much.
I have been prayfully considering head covering, and waiting on a clear lead from God, as well as a way to respect my husband’s thoughts on the matter at the same time. Again the challenge to set apart: to be God’s person in my daily reality but with out drawing undue attention. I am hoping to get Glories Seen & Unseen: A Study of the Head Covering also on paperbackswap or inter-library-loan.
Again I want to clearly state I am not really qualified for Biblical interpretations, I am not that educated or studied. All I strive to do is share my personal thought on faith and offer out to the world at large thoughts for consideration. I invite you along with me again as I ponder the Bible some more and how we can apply commandments directly to lives of sippy cups and picture books that we live moment to moment.
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man
Many people like to quote the FIRST part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 where Paul tells us that: “All things are lawful unto me” but very few like to consider the completion of that verse “but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any”. Many people, Christian and other try to use this verse, or at least the first part, to justify or permit any worldly choice or behavior. But in reality Paul is challenging us to make better personal choices. He is saying it is lawful – that is the authority is not going to set the policy for you – but it is not beneficial; that is it is not a good choice. But consider that – you and I are given the option to make any choice, we are challenged to make the good choice on our own, thus to own that choice, no “rules” to fall back on. I used to stay with a teen while her mom was out of town, a great kid, trustworthy. I told her, “use me as your excuse, peers will pressure you since your mom is out of town, I am you out” God’s word, via Paul does not give us a crutch like that. We are required to make our good choices out of all the options presented.
How we present ourselves to the world is a reflection of our souls. It shows our choices. How we dress, how we act, how we speak is a visual report of our decisions. It shows what we think it important.
More importantly you never get the chance to make a 2nd first impression. You may actually be a great Christian Thinker, have a heart of gold and be a great person, but if it takes a stranger 2 years to get to know you then what purpose are your serving to God and the Kingdom? Why make someone work to know you and to see God in you?
Like I said; I do not have the answers – merely a lot of thoughts and questions and vague ideas.