Friday, May 11, 2012

I'm Wearing Make-up!

I have been studying through the book of Titus with our Elders here at the Gaylord E-Free Church.  In chapter two, Paul instructs Timothy as to how the church should live.  He gives specific exhortations to older men, older women, young women, young men, and bondslaves.  We don't have bondslaves in our culture today but I think the instructions directed toward them are very fitting for each of us in the situations in our lives where we are under another another's authority (employer, teacher, parent, board, government).  Bondslaves are told to be subject to their masters.  But then Paul gives four particulars as to what this looks like:

First, we are to be well-pleasing.  In other words, we ought to be committed to excellence in our work.

Second, we are not to be argumentative.  This word is used elsewhere in the New Testament to refer to being obstinate; contradicting; hostility, and rebellion.

Third, we are not to be pilfering.  We are not to be involved in stealing, embezzling or petty theft.  By the way, when was the last time you used a company stamp on a personal envelope without getting permission?

Fourth, we are to show good faith.  We are to be loyal and faithful.  The word "show" is the idea of proving.  Those who are in authority over us should have no doubt that they can trust us.

Why are these principles important?  What does all this have to do with my wearing make-up?  In verse ten of chapter two Paul tells Timothy that when we live in this way we "adorn" the doctrine of God.  The NIV translation of the Bible uses the term "make attractive."  It was used in ancient times to speak of arranging jewels in a way that best displayed the beauty of the gem.  It comes from a word which we get our English word, "cosmetics."

Now think about it.  If you are a woman, do you wear make-up?  If you are a man, does your wife wear make-up?  I imagine the answer to these two questions is a resounding (and costly) "yes."  But why?  Why do women wear make-up?  The answer is simple.  They do so to make themselves more attractive.  There is nothing wrong with that at all.  If the barn needs painted, paint it!!

But now let me zero in on the men reading this whose wives wear make-up with one more question.  Is your wife beautiful before she puts on her make-up (be careful here, guys!)?  Of course she is!  Her wearing make-up does not mean that she is not beautiful without it.  It is simply a way to make herself even more attractive.

According to Paul, when we live by these instructions we "adorn," we "make attractive" the doctrine of God.  Question, "Is the doctrine beautiful in and of itself?"  Absolutely!  But when we live holy and godly lives we make the doctrine of God even more attractive.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go put on my make-up!

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