Honesty and Modesty

This is not popular, I understand. But it is good, thought-provoking material that most are unwilling to say. Read it this morning and thought I’d share.

Honesty and Modesty

Written by Dr. Bruce Goddard

Good Morning,

Recently, I walked into a place of business (a small, privately owned business).  A man stood in front of me in line, and at one point, both of the ladies who worked there were away from the counter.  He looked at me and said, “Do you think the owner makes them dress like that?”  It was interesting to me that I was in a secular situation, with a normal construction worker, and a stranger was candid enough to comment on the gal’s dress.  Each gal was wearing shorts and a low-cut t-shirt that fit a little tighter than it probably should have.

I mentioned that I knew the owner’s wife and that she did not dress that way (I was trying to cover for the owner). This construction worker looked at me and said, “If I was the owner, I could not work around gals dressed like that all day long without a problem; it just would not work.”

There you have it!  The candid, man-to-man, out-of-the-pulpit, non-church, revelation of the male heart.   The dress of those gal’s screamed “sex.”

It is interesting how much people desperately try to justify revealing clothing, indiscreet clothing, clothing that is tight, low-cut, see-through, and generally immodest; yet, the entire world uses indiscreetly-dressed females to draw the eyes and attention of men.  No one doubts the power of a sensuous pose, alluring clothing, or sexual innuendos that accompany certain clothes (especially in the summertime).  For those who might say clothing does not matter, why then (might I ask) is there a “Victoria’s Secret” shop and why do we give personal bridal showers?

Yet, if you ask the average preacher what Paul meant in I Timothy 2:9 (when he said a woman should adorn herself in modest apparel), he will dance around the words modest and apparel in any way possible. He will avoid confronting the comment on sexual temptations or indiscretions leading the eyes and minds of men to dwell upon that which they should not.  Pastors today will say it has to do with modesty in price, so I guess they preach against $100 jeans with holes in them???  (Probably not.)  Anyone with an honest heart who reads this article knows the verse is not about money.  (As I said, I do not hear pastors preaching about expensive clothing any more than immodest clothing.)

1 Timothy 2:9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”
vs. 10 “But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

Here are a few simple principles to learn from this verse:
1.  Some clothing is modest, some is not.
2.  God suggests women dress with a little “shame” or embarrassment, not
proudly flaunt every bit of flesh possible.
3.  Some clothing “becomes women who are godly,” and other clothing is
unbecoming to a godly woman.

More can be learned from this passage, but these three principles alone ought to provoke the thinking of every Christian lady.

We live in a culture in which people throw fits about a man touching a woman inappropriately; of course, we all know that is wrong.  But as the construction worker said to me at the counter, it would be impossible for him to work all day around ladies dressed like that and not have some kind of a problem.  That which is advertised is desired; that which is beautiful and revealed draws a touch — whether it be the Jaguar on the showroom floor or the beautiful dress hanging on the rack in the store.  When we see attractive things, we want to touch them.  Any married person knows that there is no draw on the heart and body of a man like the sexual draw of a woman’s body.

With this obvious information, Solomon wrote in Proverbs chapter 7 about the woman with the attire of a harlot:
Proverbs 7:10 “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”

Something about the attire of the woman in this passage made it obvious that she was available.  Candidly speaking, in the small, private business in our small, conservative town, the summer dress of girls certainly looks like they are available, and it would be difficult to find anything more worthy of the description, “The attire of a harlot.”  I would never slander the women in question.  I have no reason to question their morality, but I will, without hesitation, say that their apparel screamed “available!”

To say God does not care about our appearance is an act of intentional ignorance, therefore I make a few suggestions to all of us:

We need to consider what is seen on the television in our homes.
We need to consider where we go with our families, and what is placed in front of our men and boys.  (Could a beach or pool full of bikini-clad women be any more violating of the above principles?)
We need to consider the wardrobe of the gals in our home, whether it be the toddlers or adults — set patterns of acceptable dress and do not change.  Begin to set some kind of standard of that which is acceptable and unacceptable by which to live.

We will close with reviewing the above principles and add a fourth:
1.  Some clothing is modest, some is not.
2.  God suggests women dress with a little “shame” or embarrassment, not
proudly flaunt every bit of flesh possible.
3.  Some clothing “becomes women who are godly,” and other clothing is
unbecoming to a godly woman.
Add the fourth principle from Proverbs 7:
4. Do not wear anything that says “available” unless it is to bed with your
husband.

Pastor Goddard

Commitment

“Adoniram Judson sweated out Burma’s heat for 18 years without a furlough, six years without a convert. Enduring torture and imprisonment, he admitted that he never saw a ship sail without wanting to jump on board and go home. When his wife’s health broke and he put her on a homebound vessel in the knowledge he would not see her for two full years, he confided to his diary: “If we could find some quiet resting place on earth where we could spend the rest of our days in peace. . .” But he steadied himself with this remarkable postscript: “Life is short. Millions of Burmese are perishing. I am almost the only person on earth who has attained their language to communicate salvation. . .”

Add

add2 Peter 1:5-9 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Today’s reading reminds me that no matter how long I’ve been saved, I ought to be “add to my faith”. None of us can ever say that we’ve arrived. According to the Holy Spirit through Peter here, if we add these things, we won’t fall. And if we don’t diligently add these things, we’ll be blind, and can go so far as to forget that we’ve been purged from our sins. Let us diligently work to add to our faith virtue, and then knowledge, then temperance, and patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity.

1 Peter 3:21-22 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

This morning I’m thankful for Jesus Christ. I’m reminded of His resurrection. I’m humbled by His majesty and position and authority. If angels, and powers, and authorities are subject unto Him, might I subject my will to His, seeking to make His name and glory known to the ends of the earth.

Honor the King

Kings-Crown-e13594096297211 Peter 2:12-17 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

This morning reminds me of our responsibility, as Christians, to our civil authority. We are to be lights. We are to be subject. We are to submit ourselves to their ordinances. We are to pray for them. And Peter says that we are to honor them. Let us remember this today, as lights and examples to our community. Let us not pray for their death. Let us not defy their requests (unless it clearly violates Scripture). Let us give honor to whom honor is due, tribute to whom tribute, and custom to whom custom.

Ignite Me

jim-elliot-yearbookJim Elliot, martyr of Ecuador, was a torch of fire for Jesus Christ. One day, as he was meditating on the words, “He maketh his ministers a flame of fire” (Hebrews 1:7), he wrote in his diary:

“Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of other things. Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, Whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.”

Be ye holy

1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

The matter of lust and overcoming lust has been on my mind much recently. In the past year, I’ve talked to more men than ever before who have fallen into the of lust. We’re reminded “that the eyes of man are never satisfied”, yet lust sells us that acquisition of a certain thing will bring that satisfaction. It’s a farce, and only will drive us toward desiring more.

We quote “be ye holy, for I am holy” often. But in context, it’s talking about this matter of lust (an inordinate desire or affection, or pursuit – physical or mental – of that which God has not desired for us to have). What are we lusting after today? Might we “gird up the loins of our minds”, and “be sober”, and seek to be holy, as He is holy, in every area of our lives.

Notes from an atheist…

If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of Eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand, or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon Eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?

The Judge standeth at the door.

judge-hitting-gavelJames 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

I’m reminded of a simple, yet important truth this morning. There’s no need to hold a grudge against a brother. Even if he’s withheld wages, done us wrong, or spoken ill against us, there’s Another Who judges. And James here says “He standeth at the door”. He’s there. He’s nigh. He knows what’s going on. Might we remember that He said “vengeance is mine, I will repay…”

Ye Lust

img_8752 (1)James 4:1-4 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

When we think of lust, generally, automatically we think of impurity of thoughts, fornication, uncleanness, and sins of the like. However, in this context, there is much more that we can lust after. Verse three goes on to say that there are even things that we ask (pray) for, that aren’t given to us because they stem from the lust of the flesh.

I think lust can be described as a desire and pursuit (mental or physical) of something that God doesn’t intend for us to have. It can be in the context of immorality. But it can also be money, possessions, relationships, imaginations, status, worldliness, and more that we desire, and pursue physically or mentally (remember the Israelites lusting after food?).

Lust is a big deal to the Lord. In context of lust, he says that “friendship with the world in enmity with God.” He also calls those befriending and lusting after these things “adulterers and adulteresses” – a heavy accusation in God’s economy!! if it’s such a big deal to God, we might want to steer clear of these things. The question is, after what are we lusting today? Maybe we’ve allowed impure thoughts linger. Maybe it’s a desire for the things of this world, and we’ve allowed our heart and thoughts to follow these things. Maybe it’s a relationship, status we seek, or a person, position, or possessions. Whatever it is, today, might we “cut it off”. Let’s be content with such things as we have.

If we have, James goes on to give us the remedy for getting right:

James 4:4-10 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.