Those who seek good will consult God's Word and give themselves in obedience to His teaching.

Recently the above statement, "how to look good in a swimsuit" caught my eye as I was scanning some e-mails. It got me to thinking about the premium this world puts on physically attractive, and the dangers associated with such. No doubt, many are considering little else in the summertime. If you really want to look good, please consider the following:

Properly Define What Is "Good." -- The word "good" has become so generalized that it is applied to everything, even that which is evil. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those who "call evil good, and good evil" (Isa. 5;20). This is how many use "good" today. Therefore, caution must be exercised so as to not confuse good and evil. To do this we must acknowledge God, He who is the true and ultimate good: "O taste and see that Jehovah is good: blessed is the man that taketh refuge in Him" (Psa. 34: 8). God revealed His word, the Bible, to mankind for our good. When Moses gave God's law to Israel, he told them, "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil: in that I command thee this day to love Jehovah thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, that thou mayest live and multiply, and that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it" (Deut. 30:15,16). For Israel to know genuine goodness in their life, they had to obey God's word; if they didn't obey, "death and evil" would be the consequences. Likewise, they who are genuinely concerned about presenting themselves as "good" will consult God's Word and obey His law in their lives (2 Tim. 3:16,17).

Be More Concerned With What God Sees: -- To look good in God's sight is to BE good. Pleasing God should be our first priority. He is our Creator, Provider, Savior and Judge. It is by His blessings that all enjoy life and everything good associated with it (Acts 14:17). As Paul preached these truths in Athens, he endeavored to motivate the people to seek after and obey God in their lives (Acts 17:27-31). Too many, however, are consumed with impressing their peers more than they are with pleasing God; because they live with no convictions, they are easily swayed to go along with the crowd. The Bible warns of "following a multitude to do evil" (Exo. 23:2). Jesus taught, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you" (Lk. 6:26). You cannot please God and the world at the same time (Matt. 6:24; Gal. 1:10). Pleasing God requires we "abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thes. 5: 22).

Don't Be Naive About Lust: -- What many actually mean when they speak of "looking good" in a swimsuit is how sexually appealing they will be to the opposite sex. "Lust" is evil desire, which can be aroused by sight. Scripture speaks of the "lust of the eye" as part of the evil world we must avoid (1 Jno. 2;15-17). Jesus warned of him who "looketh on a woman to lust after her" -- that he who does so "hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). Job, a godly man, made a covenant with his eyes that he might not look with lust upon a woman (Job 31:1). Immodest clothing, whether it be swimsuits, mini-skirts, shorts, etc., are all designed to excite lust. The issue here is not about fashion or comfort -- but lust. God holds you responsible for the clothing you wear and how you present yourself before others. If you parade your half naked (almost completely naked any more) in public (a fair description of one wearing the modern swimsuit) you bring God's condemnation on yourself. But more than that, you become a stumbling block to others, who would look at you with lust, committing sin thereby. It matters to God what kind of clothes you wear (1 Tim. 2:9). Therefore, it should matter to you.

Dress The Heart: -- In Peter's instruction to wives with unbelieving husbands, they were charged to focus the emphasis on "adorning...the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Pet. 3;3,4). In other words, dress the heart and the outward appearance will follow suit. The problem of immodesty is a heart problem, and those who would become an object of lust by publicly displaying themselves in a swimsuit (or other forms of immodest apparel) need to dress up their hearts by surrendering them to Christ. The apostle Paul commanded, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:14). Again, on a more personal note, Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20). Those who die to sin by coming to Christ will not dress like the world (Rom. 6:2).

Those who please God will not be swayed to compromise their faith by worldly activities, no matter how popular they may be (Rom. 12:1,2).

They understand they are sojourners just passing through this life toward eternity. This world is not their home. Heaven is. Therefore, they will, with the courage of their faith, choose without shame or apology to be separate from worldliness so they may glorify God (2 Cor. 6:17,18; 1 Pet. 2:9-12).

By Dan Richardson in Biblical Insights, Vol. 4, No. 9, Sept. 2004.

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