Sunday, July 1, 2007

Standing Out

Friday night my daughters and I went to eat at a popular local restaurant for supper. While we were there another family was sitting next to us. This family had chosen an "alternative lifestyle" shall we say? It took me a while to decide what sex of person I was looking at. Walking out, a group of young teenage girls were walking into the restaurant. They were dressed in popular, current, trendy teenage clothing. (Read: immodest)

All these sights got me thinking on the way home. How do others see our family? Do we stand out? Do they know we love the Lord? How would they know that?

So I got out my Bible and started looking up verses. It occured to me that there are two ways that my family and I should stand out.

1. By sight only (Those who see us say, out at a restaurant, but never listen or talk to us.)
2. By our words and deeds. (Those who not only see us, but hear us and watch us in action.)

Tonight I want to talk about the first one: how we stand out to those who only see and observe us. This would include a lot of factors. Our dress, our facial expressions, our gestures, the places we are, the activities we are involved in, and even how we react to those around us.

What does the Bible say about all this? Without getting into extensive Biblical commentary on each of these points (like I could anyway, HA!) here are some thoughts. In 1 Timothy 2 there are some thoughts on our dress:

9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

In 1 Corinthians 11 there are some thoughts on our hair. A snippet:

14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.

OK, so our physical apprearance should differ from what we see in the world. But do non-Christians sometimes have long hair and wear modest clothing? Sure! That's why that really isn't enough. What else might a casual observer of us or of our families see? Here is a verse about our actions:

12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
I found so much information, in fact, that I just started making some columns. Folks, God's word has so much to say on this it's crazy! Why haven't I ever thought before to study this? It's very important how others see us! It is our witness to the world. Here are the verses I have looked at so far: Galatians 5:19 and following and Ephesians 4:17-5:17.

I want to keep studying this. Specifically how we should appear to those who observe us. Any thoughts? I could use the help! Feel free to comment.

One last thought: we are so concerned these days with making the "lost" not feel uncomfortable (being politically correct has bled WAY over into church) that we find ourselves blending in with the world. But shouldn't we stand out?

1 comment:

  1. I have just found your blog and was reading this entry and I just wanted to say that I totally agree. We do need to stand out. I have been making some changes that I feel that I need to make in order to do this. Thanks for sharing this.
    Lisa = )


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)