Monday, April 11, 2016

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who's the Most Modest of Them All?

Are clothing choices an issue in third-world countries? What clothes I choose to wear or not to wear and how much skin I expose or don't expose seems very #firstworldproblems. Having a choice in what I wear is a luxury not everyone can claim, and (I'm guessing) many people cannot even choose here in the U.S

What I do with my freedom of choice reflects the content of my character or, more likely, my character flaws. Do character flaws put me in the goat column? How about those who judge other people by how they dress? Another character flaw. Or men who blame their lusty thoughts or violent actions on women's attire? Another character flaw. That sinful nature is with us even when we try to do what is right.

The Amish use two German words I rather like;  hochmut (pride, arrogance, haughtiness) and demut (humility). The Amish, by having a strict dress code, have eliminated the freedom of choice. Their clothing won't reflect their character flaws (hochmut). Everyone in the community dresses the same and inequalities are eliminated. Therefore, demut is to blend in - to dress like those around you. To NOT stand out from the crowd.

The online modesty contests that break-out on Christian women's blogs make me shake my head. Inevitably they result in an endless one-upmanship battle. Instead of passing along encouragement and compliments they pass along gossip, judgement and condemnation. It's ugly and a perfect example of how clean we get "the cup" on the outside while the inside remains a dirty mess. (Matthew 23:25)

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