“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5)
Philippians 4:5-7, 10-13; 1 Peter 3:1-5; 1 Timothy 2:9-10
Moderation is believers yieldedness under the grace of God to humbly manage our abundant resources to reflect the blend of the glory of God and the beauty of our self worth. The excessive of man may be abundance of his opulence and other blessings. There is nothing wrong in being blessed but whatever we do with what God had given us determines whether we are applying the principle of moderation or not. Knowing God and honoring Him in your opulence is moderation. Being mindful of the needs of the less privileged ones around you and your love and care for them is moderation. But when one is living a wanton and an ostentatious life then immoderate living had set in. Brethren let us ask ourselves, “Where do we find the worldly wealthy people today during their leisure time? Probably in the club houses, in the casinos and in the company of strange women—this is simply because these rich people have excess resources in their hands to showcase and throw around.
On the other hand, excessiveness of man may be negative character traits that are common to the world in general. It include, power, position, pride, abilities, showing off and other men-pleasing characteristics. Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians brethren, said, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (I Corinthians 10:23) In the same vein with the understanding of this precepts of the scripture, Democritus, the ancient Greek philosopher says, “If we throw moderation to the winds, the greatest pleasure will bring the greatest pains.” Some people have access to delicious food and they eat, and eat and eat uncontrollable, unknowingly to them, they are digging their grave with their own teeth. At the end they will become sick of the excessive consumption of the delicious food they love so much. Most of the alcoholics are drinking, drinking uncontrollable until they become drunk. Most of them ended up in the gutter or involve themselves in a ghastly accident.
CHRISTLIKE MODERATION—2 Corinthians 8:9
When we discuss Christlike moderation, brethren let it be at the back of our mind that God is instructing the believers that He had redeemed us with His blood. The teaching is meant for people that can spiritually digest the word of God and embrace the truth. These truths are not subject to intelligent debate of man and it is not about winning a logical argument about what is obtainable in the world.
- Refraining self by not insisting on ones rights is Christlike moderation—Genesis 13:9
- Living a life of integrity is a Christlike moderation—Can your Christian brethren entrusted you with personal secret, or confession and the whole world will not hear about it? Can you be trusted with valuable things to manage on behalf of your brethren, or his family without exhibiting negative characteristic of embezzlement and greediness? Godliness and contentment is a great gain. Jesus Christ is a covenant keeper. He kept the covenant of our salvation. Can we be a faithful covenant keepers like David and Jonathan in the Bible?
- Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men.” We can demonstrate Christlike moderation in the way we celebrates events. Our Lord Jesus Christ attended wedding ceremony in Cana of Galilee. He participated in the long existed Passover celebrations. We can recount the glory of God that manifested in those two celebrations that He participated in. If a believer intends that the principle of the glory of God be implemented in their homes, let the foundation be laid on their wedding day with moderation—in the mode of dressing, in general appearance of the environment and in the simple but holy exhibition of the celebration of their abundance. It is important that the moderation of the believers be made known in order to provide spiritual education to the godless world around us.
- We should exhibit Christlike moderation in speech—”Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6) Our utterance must be peaceful and must be expressed in truth and in honesty. Reckless speech of the worldly must not be detected in our speech. Unnecessary jesting must be avoided. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19; James 1:19
CHRISTIAN ADORNMENT—1 Peter 3:2-5
The Holy Spirit inspired men that God used to pen the Bible were inspired to address the prevailing issues of spiritual concern around them then. In the region of the Middle East of the world, too much attention had been placed on the adornment of women hair and bodies. We can still trace elaborate hair adornment to Indian and Egyptians women. Most of these prevalent adornments are done in the honor their idol gods. The fashion world of the western civilization had embraced these worldly adornments in the name of beauty. These adornment may be beautiful in appearance but it only appeal to the sense of pride and satisfies the desires of the flesh. It is intended to make them a replica of the princess of the worldly idol of a celebrity of idol god. It does not in any way glorify God. James 4:4 “… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?”
The adorning expected of Christians includes godly character—Christlike mindedness—Philippians 2:5-8. The real beauty of a Christian is the inner man. It includes holiness, selflessness of Christ; humility of Christ, Obedience of Christ, fellowship and mercy spirit.
In vs 4 “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit—We know that ornament is precious and it is also valuable. The preciousness of your ‘meekness and quiet spirit’ is expected to be comparable to precious incorruptible Christlike characters.
We have attempted to understand what moderation is all about and how important it is in our Christian life. We want to take a step further to see how this principle is applicable in Christian dressing. In Exodus 28:2, God commanded Moses to make the garment for Aaron the High Priest and his children, “And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.” The Heavenly King clearly defines the purposes of the garment—‘for glory and for beauty.’ Please consider the order—glory of God comes before the beauty of the garment. The garments of believers must satisfy these two criteria in order to be acceptable of the Lord. In order to attain this, Christian moderation must be put in force.
Let us settle one important issue once and for all. Being a Christian does not mean we should be appearing shabbily. In Exodus 19:10, ‘And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.” This can be interpreted that we should appear our best before God, in glory and in honor of His holy name. In our attempt to avoid being shabby, we must be very conscious that our appearance must depict the glory of God. Leonardo Da Vinci, a writer, puts it this way, “Simplicity and purity in dressing is the ultimate sophistication.”
In our time, most people by-pass glory and only care about the beauty and outrageousness of the garment. In the fashion of today, beauty of a garment may permit people to dress half naked in the name of fashion. It may permit people to live a life of personal advertisement—or ostentatious living, or adorning self with expensive taste that is very loud according to the fashion language. When a person dressed in a partly-naked garment, he or she is simply setting up self as an object attraction to public to expose the comely part of their bodies for personal advertisement. Take a look at the popular media platforms and see the way some people presented themselves in their attires. It has become a quest of how much of the body parts that can be exposed to the lustful world of fashion to attract, command and dominate attention of the fashion world. The scripture describes these garments as attire of an harlot. Proverbs 7:10-11 “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. She is loud and stubborn …” These types of dresses tend to give you a false sense of pride that you are more fashionable and civilized than others. All these do not satisfy the criteria of glory of God which its expected to present us in decency and holiness before the Heavenly King as Christ Ambassadors. We must ensure that glory of God and beauty of the apparel must be balanced together in our Christian dressing.
Yes some can argue that, Well, I am not a priest, therefore I do not have to observe the precept of glory and beauty in dressing. Wait until we read 2 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” As if this passage is not enough, the word of God came to us again saying, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I (Corinthians 6:19-20) The challenge here is that, our dressing and appearance must not reflect anything that can bring reproaches to the name of the Lord.
Finally the word of God warned us I Thessalonians 5:22 to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Any dressing of believer that does not exhibit the glory of God is invariably presenting you in the appearance of worldliness—which is evil. This is not the desire of God concerning Christian moderation. Please think in the line of righteousness and holiness that the word of God demanded.
Let us pray.