Friday, November 20, 2009

manners and salvation





Something came over me tonight as I was driving alone. I began to think, am I spinning my wheels (so to speak)? Am I doing all this work only to create a lot of smoke and get nowhere? Is this girls' course what it should be?

As you may have heard, I'm designing a course on health and social graces to teach to some girls here on the island of Guam. The purpose is to help young ladies with their self-esteem by teaching them about personal style (modesty emphasized), to show them how to take care for themselves (health), and how to relate to others (social graces/etiquette). Above all that, is the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.

How do these things mix is the question? Do you have to have good manners, good health, and dress modestly to be a Christian? No. Because you have good manners, good health, and dress modestly, does that make you a Christian? Absolutely not. The subject of health and social graces and Christianity are almost completely unrelated.

After all, God doesn't necessarily care about the way we look anyway- remember, unlike us, He looks at the heart instead of the outward appearance. The only reason He might care is because we care, and He cares about us.

The last thing I want to do is create this legalistic view of Christianity. All that will be taught are good things, but aren't required for salvation or God's love. It's really for ourselves (health), and for others (social graces and modesty).

What do you think? How can I make this clear to the girls, as some of them are not Christians?


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7 comments:

Jenilee said...

I think you shared it just beautifully in this post. I would emphasize that these "outside" things that you are teaching them are important but they should come from the heart, which God does care ALOT about. When our heart is right about modesty, we will dress modest. When we care about others from our heart, we will want to act appropriately with correct manners. It comes back to the heart, what is on the inside shining on the outside.

"But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul." Joshua 22:5

You are doing a GREAT thing! Be encouraged!

Beth Ann said...

Abigail, I know exactly where you are coming from! I love the whole etiquette and fashion world, I'm more into it than in other things that I probably should be. I asked my Mom the other day what she thought about what I was doing. How do I really enjoy learning about style and advocating modest fashion, but how do I bring my Savior into that? How can my site be more than just another 'fashion site'? A verse that stood out to me today was this one- "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

That certainly goes hand in had with etiquette! We are to set an example in the way be act. In a way, etiquette is freedom from conceit and modesty is humilty- freedom from conceit or vanity. I know that the Lord advocates that! :)

Proverbs 31:22 says, "She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple." That doesn't sound like someone who doesn't have style! ;) Her clothing and stlye reflects her spirit and her desire to care for the body that Christ gave to her. Now, don't think that I have it all together. lol I'm glad I wrote this out though because it gave me a chance to think it through better and get a better understanding of what it really is that I am doing. As in all things though I think balance is key. I have to be careful that these things that I love to study and talk about, do not become idols, and since an idol is anything that can be coming between me and God, I have to always seriously evaluate many things in my life, sometimes more than once. I hope I helped a little and shed some light on the issue! Your sister in Christ, Beth ♥

edzzie said...

you're blogs are awesome & inspiring! i can actually relate because I am Godfearing myself..and i believe real beauty comes from within.. i write for a cause..that is also to inpire others..looking forward for more posts..id love to follow urs as well..if u have time, you can visit mine..thnx!

edzzie
http://edzzy.blogspot.com/

edzzie said...

you're blogs are awesome & inspiring! i can actually relate because I am Godfearing myself..and i believe real beauty comes from within.. i write for a cause..that is also to inpire others..looking forward for more posts..id love to follow urs as well..if u have time, you can visit mine..thnx!

edzzie
http://edzzy.blogspot.com/

sarahandtim said...

I really feel that God does care about the way that we look. It's interesting at church on Sunday to see how the men are dressed to the 9s in their matched suits and yet we have girls coming to church in denim and sweatshirts? It seems demeaning. Men and women are equal, God loves all his children, and we owe it to ourselves to dress well and respectfully, especially at church on Sundays. What ever happened to Sunday best?

cablecarcouture.com

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Wanda said...

I love honoring God with the way I dress. Do I always? Probably not!

Church is a great place to be and do your very best for God. Clothing is just another way of showing HIM that He deserves your very best!

My kids have grown up dressing best on Sunday's...we are now in a very "relaxed" church....and they hate seeing all the jeans, hoodies and casual clothing!

It's not that we don't want people to come if they're not dressed nicely......it's sorta just become the norm.
I like it spiffy.....it says you recognize HE IS HOLY!

I love your blog!

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