Does this Shirt Make Me Look Fat?

Does this Shirt Make Me Look Fat?

. . . Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Like most of us, I prefer to appear fit, not fat. I exercise and I eat well – most of the time. Still though, I’ve got a few extra pounds around my middle. So, when I get dressed, I try to pick out shirts that (hopefully) hide my extra fat. When worn right, from the right angle, you can hardly tell that I need to lose 15 pounds . . . The real solution to my problem would be to lose those 15 pounds, but that’s a lot of work. So, I just try to cover them up with the right clothing.

I did this in my addiction too. I hid my drug use and tried to distract from it by doing good. If I was a good enough Emergency Room physician, and if I could keep my addiction a secret, people would think I was a good person. I knew the truth, but if I could fool others, keeping them blind to my horrible behavior, then I’d feel better about myself. The solution to my internal conflict was to get sober, but that was a lot of work. So, I just tried to cover it up my addiction with good deeds.

In today’s passage, Paul spoke to women about their dress habits and appearance. It would be easy to pass the passage off as sexist and culturally irrelevant. We certainly don’t teach today that women shouldn’t braid their hair. There is an important – and still relevant – principle behind Paul’s words though. We should invest more time and effort into who we really are underneath than we do in our external appearance.

When we go to church, most of us put on nicer-than-average clothes. This isn’t just about women of course. We all get dressed up for church. There’s nothing inherently wrong with dressing nice. Paul’s point was that we often put more work into our appearance than we put into our substance. We live all week for ourselves, but then on Sunday, we put on nice clothes and go sing about how we follow God. We try to cover up our addictions, selfishness, greed, lust, anger, resentments, and pride with dress pants and a tie.

The solution to our self-destructive habits is to do whatever it takes to abandon them to follow Christ. That’s a lot of hard work though. So, most of us just try to cover those things up with dress clothes. If we truly want to be who we’re made to be, we must daily work on our substance, not just our facade.

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