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Dress Revelations

Have you seen random pics of Wal-Mart shoppers?  Gross!  The widespread messiness in the way people dress today parallels the general decline in modern morality. It’s not only personality and taste that come through in the clothes we choose to wear, we also dress according to intent. If we intend to imitate icons, we reveal it by our clothing.  In addition, the way we dress elicits a response or reaction from other people, and people classify us by our costumes. We have even developed vocabulary to describe certain actions, certain intentions and certain looks.  For example: Shabby, stylish, frumpy, chic, elegant, tasteful, classy, scruffy. In sub-cultures, we label dress as Grunge, Goth, Punk, Street, Glam, Hardcore, Anarcho, Psychobilly. Gang dress includes bandanas, buttons, articles of clothing (shoelaces, etc.), earrings, combs, fingernails, beads, graffiti, gym shoes, hair, hats, jewelry, pant legs, pockets, roller skate laces, stars and sweatshirts. Style denotes philosophy. 

The wise man said, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. Thus, Bible believers pay attention to dress.  “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:8-10.  Also, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.” 1 Peter 3:1-5. N. A. Urshan wrote, “The basic principles of godly appearance that apply to women should also apply to men; namely, modesty, moderation, decency, elimination of ornamentation and costly finery, and distinction between male and female in hair and dress.”  

True love, joy and peace is found in pleasing and serving God.  Is this legalism? Our question should be “Does it please God?”  Or, “Will doing this harm my relationship with God.”  Or, “Will this harm my witness to other people?”  Those who ask “what’s wrong with this?” in terms of an actual scripture against something, are the real legalists.  For example, if I have a rule in my association that you cannot talk to other people during a meeting and you get around it by singing, are you violating the rule?  Technically, no.  In reality, yes.  Talking negatively about these things may make us seem like ogres, prudes and hopelessly old fashioned.  However, we are in the business of pleasing God.  Many of these practices represent human attempts to find meaning, pleasure, and acceptance.  To believers, the pursuit of Jesus Christ is the total answer. 

Why should your doctrine impact your appearance? Think of yourself as an advertising billboard.  You put on display your convictions, your loyalties, your message for the world. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2. 

Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost.  Preserve it, protect it, keep it clean.  Don’t allow it to be subverted or coopted by Satan.  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age … that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” Titus 2:11-15.  

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