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Tag Archives: temptation

A Better Reference Point for Modesty

I’m writing this post as part of the #ModestyRules Synchroblog. (Image source)

So many voices, so little clarity, so much needless hurt

Modesty is, and always has been, important to me. Perhaps it’s because of my cautious nature and reserved personality. Perhaps we could find a more spiritual cause. In any case, as young as two and three years old, I was averse to showing my belly button. When I became a teenager, and a whole new world of clothing options opened to me, I was petrified of ending up in something indecent. As an adult, I now minister in contexts that regularly put me on a stage, in front of a class, or even in front of cameras — all of which require a conservative dress code.

I say this to affirm: I like dressing modestly. It’s my default. I find no “freedom” in the idea of wearing skimpier, flashier things.

Yet even so, as I think back over the messages I was taught about modesty in my teens, and the sort of messages that get blogged and reblogged today, I’m troubled. Any teaching about modesty must, of course, first define what it is. When you strip away all the lists of rules, the hemlines, the necklines, and the spaghetti straps, what exactly is modesty, and why do we care about it?

The answer to that question, almost universally, has been this: Modesty means adequately covering up your body so that you don’t cause your brothers to stumble.

I would suggest — in fact, I would insist — that this definition is a problem. A big one. There’s a lot that could be said about this, but for the sake of time, I want to focus on four reasons we need to change our reference point:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Real Heroes Run and Hide

Running and hiding doesn’t immediately summon images of heroism. And to be truthful, a lot of times, running and hiding is simple cowardice. On many occasions, the Lord has called people to obey in the face of seemingly impossible odds. In these instances, backing out would have been succumbing to fear and rebellion.

But as saturated as our culture is with action flicks, we have an immense admiration for crazy guys who look danger in the face and laugh. We cheer when the cinematic protagonist, armed with nothing more than a pie tin and plastic spoon, rallies himself to charge the bad guys head-on as his friends are all begging him not to go and get himself killed. Then, of course, since this is Hollywood, he trounces all opposition, suffering nothing more than the obligatory flesh wound on the bulging bicep. We gawk at and envy this kind of self-assured boldness. We applaud the foolhardiness and invincibility complex, calling it “courage”. We begin to admire real life people who are prepared to forge ahead, come what may, giving no thought to potential consequences.

However, the book of Proverbs shows us that there is a time where the heroic thing is actually to run and hide. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in Bible, Heart Stuff, Proverbs

 

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