Listen To The Sons Of This World
Did Jesus commend dishonesty? Some have mistakenly reached that conclusion when they read the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16:1-13, but read the parable again carefully. Jesus did not commend the man for being a poor steward or for cheating his master; instead, He urged His disciples to note the way the man assessed the situation and took action to make certain he did not have to beg or resort to digging. And in His commendation of this man's quick thinking the Lord made an observation that I want to make the basis of this brief article: "For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light" (Luke 16:8).
I will come back to the thought of Luke 16:8 later, but before doing that I want us to be reminded of some Scriptural principles that should shape the way we dress.
- We are to be a holy people. "Be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:13-17
- We are to "flee sexual immorality." 1 Corinthians 6:18
- We are not to engage in lewd, lustful, lascivious or licentious conduct. "Let us walk properly,...not in lewdness and lust...." Romans 13:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 12:20, 21
- We must avoid putting a stumbling block before others. "For whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 10:31-33
- We are charged with being an influence for good (salt and light) in a world that is corrupt and filled with darkness. "Children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." Matthew 5:13-16; Philippians 2:15, 16
What does all of this have to do with the parable of the unjust steward? Simply this, the sons of this world know full well the power and provocative nature of indecent dress and continually exploit it. Why does the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated's sell more than any other issue during the year? Why is every product imaginable sold by a man or woman wearing clothing that leaves little to the imagination either through its briefness, sheerness or clinginess? Why does Hollywood so often feature characters in clothing that no one would ever describe as modest? Is it possible that the sons of this world in the business of publishing magazines, selling products through advertising, and producing entertainment know something the sons of light are either ignorant of or willing to disregard?
The sons of this world use terms such as sexy, alluring, provocative, daring, etc. to describe fashions many "sons (or should I say daughters?) of light" seem all too willing to don, but should our clothing really be described by such terms? Would it not be better for our clothing to be described as modest and proper for those professing godliness (1 Timothy 2:8-10)? In a world filled with immorality and lust we cannot always prevent evil men and women from thinking evil thoughts, but we can make the choice to dress ourselves and our children in clothing that is not designed to stir passions of lust.
Before you leave the house, ask yourself or another family member the following questions:
- Is this too short?
- Is it cut too low?
- Is it too sheer?
- Is it too tight?
- Is it too brief?
- Is it possible to sit down and still retain my modesty?
And before you answer, stop and ask yourself what the shrewd sons of this world might say.