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April 13, 2008

the mystery of modesty

I found the following quote by Barbara Bova via Old Fashioned Lady (any emphasis is mine). It is especially interesting to note that this comes from a secular source.
"...These days girls or young women (the title of lady has gone out with the word modesty) are inclined to wear clothes that are barely there. Common sense has been exchanged for the political correctness nonsense that says women are free to wear whatever they want. That women have turned to looking like hookers and Lolitas just ignores the nature of men...

Here in the U.S., women are free to show it all. Some apparently think this makes them more attractive. Instead, they have tossed out the mystery and allure females once possessed when they had some modesty.... A woman doesn’t have to wear a chador to be safe here but those who play enticing games to attract male attention should be ready for some nasty things to happen...."

April 09, 2008

how do i speak?

I'm doing a little studying this week about sibling/family relationships in the Bible. I set out to prepare a lesson for others, but the sword has divided my own heart also. I thought I'd share something I noticed about speech in the account of Joseph in Genesis:
  • Joseph's brothers "could not speak peaceably to him" (Genesis 37:4). This is recorded near the beginning of Joseph's story.
  • In spite of all his brothers did to him, near the end of Joseph's story he "comforted [his brothers] and spoke kindly to them"(50:21).
Joseph is a living testimony to the message of the book of James. Perhaps in early days he didn't use his tongue so wisely (when he aggravated his brothers by telling his dreams, Genesis 37), but at some point God taught him about the power of the tongue. Joseph's kind speech in return for unkind speech/deeds was only possibly because Joseph viewed his situation from the Lord's viewpoint (45:5, 9). This is how James teaches us to see our trials (chapter 1). Joseph had also learned the power of harnessing the tongue for good (James 3). Specifically, the tongue has enormous power to make or break our family relationships (or relationships with the people with whom we spend a lot of time). Our everyday talk seems unimportant, but (like a ship's rudder) it directs the course of our entire lives.
"Because our communication leargely takes place in the inconsequential moments of everyday life, it is easy to underestimate its significance... What sets the course of a person's life are the ways he responds to the little moments...Every day, your words give your relationships their tone." (Tripp/Lane, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, p69)
What kind of a tone am I setting with each word?
Negative? (envying, seeking what's best for me, boasting,
lying, criticizing,
gossiping, complaining, nagging)
Or positive? (showing purity, peaceableness, gentleness, willingness to yield,
mercy, impartiality, sincerity, graciousness, kindness, thankfulness, prayerfulness)

It is much easier to see the negative effects of the speech of people around me (coworkers, acquaintances, family, friends) than to see the negative effects of my own talk. How I need the Lord...