A Living Sacrifice

 

GUEST ARTICLE

A Living Sacrifice

[This is an article by a 15-yar-old girl, as an encouragement to other young people to dress, speak,  and behave modestly and decently.]

 

The world places an enormous amount of emphasis on our external appearances. How many commercials on TV do you see that are advertising some sort of clothing, skin, hair or makeup product? We should, of course, take care of our bodies, but that shouldn’t be our number one focus. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, our bodies are a temple of God .  .  .  . We should condition our bodies and mind to do the Lord’s work. Romans 12:1-2 says:

 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

When people in the world see us, they should sense that there’s something different about us. If we dress, talk and act just like the world, there will be no drawing power. They might think, “If they’re just like us, what’s wrong with the way I am right now?”

 

Don’t Conform to the World in the Way We Dress

 

Girls, especially teenage girls, tend to have a problem with low self esteem. I admit to struggling with this myself. It’s very easy to view yourself as not being good enough. They often try to find acceptance, and in many cases they may look in the wrong places, or the wrong way. There are girls who have boyfriend after boyfriend, just because they want to feel really special and loved, even though they are not ready for a relationship. This might also prompt them to dress in a way that is flashy or immodest to attract attention. They just want to “fit in” and be “cool.” Sadly, many times to fit in you must wear things that shouldn’t be worn by a good Christian girl. The apostle Paul taught:

 

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire (1 Timothy 2:9).

 

When we walk into a room, our appearance shouldn’t shout “Look at me!” but we should be respectable and cleanly attractive. 1 Peter 3:3 says, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of the hair, putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear.” In God’s sight, all of us are special and loved, and if we can know and accept that, and are able to love ourselves, we won’t be looking in the wrong places, or in the wrong ways to be accepted (cf. Matthew 22:39).

 

Don’t Conform to the World in the Way We Act

 

We shouldn’t try to act in such a way as to attract attention from other people. The apostle Peter taught, “But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). Many times we have known a girl to laugh very loudly at a comment, and then glance around to see if anyone is noticing her. It’s not attractive when someone is always bragging on themselves, or acting arrogant. (cf. 1 Samuel 2:3) We need to be humble (see James 4:6; 4:10, 1 Peter 3:8).

 

Don’t Conform to the World in the Way We Speak

 

Our speech needs to be pure. In Colossians 4:6 it says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” If you get together with a group of girls, many times there will be gossip going around. You’ll hear things like, “Did you hear?” “Did you see what she did?” And so on. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in gossip; and if we don’t watch ourselves, we’ll be right in the middle of it, adding our own, “Well I heard?” The Bible clearly teaches that gossip is wrong. Our Lord said, “I tell you, on the

day of judgment people will give account of every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36). If you take time to think about it, this is very sobering. We must learn to guard our tongues, and not fall into the trap of gossip.

 

Present Yourselves as a Living Sacrifice

 

Instead of focusing so much attention on ourselves, we should try to look for ways that we can serve others. There are numerous areas in which girls can serve the church:

 

Helping the sick: Prepare food, baby-sit for sick parents, send cards, visit, and help with various household chores.

Mothers with new babies: Prepare food, offer to baby-sit older children so the mother can rest, help with children in worship services, and help around the house.

Elderly: Talk to them and keep them company, clean house, fix meals, and remember special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays, sit with them during worship services.

Hospitality in your community: Visit new neighbors, take along a welcome basket that includes information about the church, and help them become familiar with the area.

Hospitality to visitors at worship: Welcome strangers, if there are children, offer to help them find their Bible class, sit with them in church, and send them a thank you letter for visiting.

 

Conclusion

 

It’s a very big challenge to try to follow God’s will, especially when friends are pressuring us to do things that are not godly. But, let’s accept the challenge, and stand up for what’s right, because in the end, when we have a home in heaven, it will all be worth it. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

 

–Lindsey Anne Jensen
Saturday, September 1, 2007

 

About the Author (by Wayne Jackson)

 

Lindsey Anne Jensen is the daughter of George and Joy Jensen. The Jensens, including all four children, are missionaries in Tanzania , Africa . Lindsey loves Africa . She was born on September 1, 1992. A day of joy for not only George and Joy, but Wayne and Betty Jackson, her grandparents. She is a lovely and spiritually minded fifteen year old.

 

http://www.women-of-hope.com/

 

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