|Vol. 13 No. 3 March 2011||
Ernest S. Underwood
Autumn is a beautiful time of the year – the crispness of the air, the colors and the smell of wood smoke coming from the fireplaces about town. However, when autumn is gone, the cold, raw days of winter are upon the land. Some folks like winter most of all, but not I. I had enough winter the four years we lived in Russia to do me a lifetime. I am not too keen on 57 degrees below zero temperatures. I like the spring of the year. As things seem to die in the fall and winter, they come alive in the spring. The budding of the trees, the gentle breezes, the blossoming of the flowers, and the songs and activities of the birds all seem to instill life back into our being. Also, as I know that in the spring there will be resurrection of life in the dormant plants, I am also made aware again of the biblical promise of the resurrection. Job asked in the long ago, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). The whole creation and the God of heaven answer with a resounding, “Yes!” Having this confidence, the certainty of death loses it dread and bitterness to those who have in this life obeyed the Gospel and have, thus, become children of God. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” I am glad spring is here again, aren’t you?
I really do not want to write this. I really do not want to post it. I really do not want to face this problem again. I would like to just go along and be able to smile at everyone and feel good about the way things are. Yet, my heart and mind cannot let me do that. I feel compelled to do this because my love for those in the world makes it so that I want to see them, and everyone they might influence, get to heaven. So, please know that if we truly love each other, we will try to be the people that God expects us to be. If that means we have to remind or correct each other along the way, then that is a very minor price to pay. I want any of you to come to me to correct me for things I say or do that will harm the cause of Christ; if you truly love me and want to see me get to heaven.
So, here I am facing the truth that every year. As it turns from the cold, shivering season to the warm, sunshiny season, we are faced once again with the problem of how little people want to get away with wearing. Ladies, we are responsible to God for what we wear. We are responsible to God for what we allow our children, both male and female, to wear. Gentlemen, you are responsible to God for what you, your wives and your children wear; it is that simple! I have noticed too many who want to walk that line as close to the world as they can. Remember that Satan owns the fence!
No, we do not have to go around in burlap sacks, but we have to realize some facts. Just because something covers the skin does not mean it is modest. How tight are those jeans or that shirt? Just because you are swimming does not exempt you from God’s law. If you would not be comfortable meeting Christ at your front door in it, it is not appropriate, and just because you may feel comfortable in a bikini or one-piece (or no shirt for you guys out there) does not make it appropriate. It must be compared to God’s Word. Just because you cannot see down your shirt when you are standing up in front of your mirror does not mean that people cannot see your attributes when you bend over; you check it and see, and then ask yourself how much you are stumbling or tempting others. Just because you have lost weight does not give you the freedom to dress in things that are too low, too short or too tight; good for you for taking care of yourself, but you cannot use the excuse “I have nothing to wear” to choose things that are not appropriate.
Just because you are male does not give you the excuse to remove your shirt, no matter what you are doing. Please, let us remember that God is always watching what we are doing. As surely as you can wear a shirt advertising a particular brand of athletic shoe, your mode of dress advertises whose team you are playing on. So, who is your coach, God or Satan? May God be able to look at us and recognize His team uniform, both inside and out!