“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” –1 Timothy 2: 9
I had a discussion with one of the persons who used to attend in our church. He’s thirty years old, and has been a good friend. We did not agree at some points about Christianity, mind you. He has a certain definition of grace, while I believe that grace is so much more. Still, we got along, though.
Last night, however, he started talking about how my best friend dresses. I admit that it’s way different than mine; I prefer pants, boys’ shorts, and not so fit shirts while she dones on blouses, dresses, leggings, and, sometimes, shorts. Well, I was shocked and angered when that person started saying things about my friend which are prejudicial and judgmental. He said that she’s headed for something unpleasant. He said that she was compromising.
I knew it wasn’t true, so I defended my friend. I said that it is not just right to judge a person and her base her salvation just because of how she dresses. I said that it is utterly not grace to condemn someone like that just because of ONE picture where she wears shorts tagged to her in Facebook. He had a series a retorts, and the discussion led to many more topics. All I knew was that I was defending my friend, because she was, really, a passionate lover of Christ.
It lead to him giving me the verse quoted above, and he asked me, ‘Do you say Paul is wrong?’ I told him I wasn’t saying anything like that and I did not talk to him anymore.
Yes, I know that Paul was right. Women of Jesus should be more refined in their choice of clothes. We should dress appropriately and sensibly because we’re not here to draw attention to ourselves. We’re here to draw attention to Christ, and we ourselves fix our eyes on him. Paul was right; our attitudes as Christians are not.
We judge according to appearance– on clothes, outward performance, on church attendance, on good deeds, on verses memorized. Once people are in Church, we place a set of expectations upon them that they have to meet. We forget that the only thing that could change these people is GRACE, and we deprive them of that. We place their transformation upon these rules of do’s and don’t’s, instead of the power and love of Christ. Our actions toward them tell them that they should earn their way into Christ’s love and approval. That’s not grace at all.
When we treat other people as to how they dress, we do it with encouragement, love and grace. Not judgment nor condemnation. We have to build them up
God looks at the heart, and I know that Paul knew that. Our beauty as Christian women is found in Christ, instead of what we wear. We don’t need to attract attention to ourselves because of Christ. Instead, we clothe ourselves with good deeds. Now, let me tell you, good deeds are a fruit. They come from being rooted in Christ. Of being saturated in His grace. They come naturally from constantly abiding in Christ. We don’t force ourselves to do good, beloved. I want you to know that.
Your salvation and identity in Christ is based on His finished work alone, not your performance or your choice of clothes.