This topic has been on my heart and my mind for months and – maybe even years if I truly put it on a timeline. The topic is broad but it centers around modesty, attitudes, and how we treat others. As I begin to write this post I’m backspacing and trying to find the right words for what I want to say.
Modesty is a topic that is very important to me because as a teenager and into my early 20’s I lived as a Pentecostal woman. I learned to love my makeup free face and my long skirts. I had youthful skin and I quickly grew waist length hair that I was in love with. I loved that I stood out and that people knew I was Pentecostal. Boy didn’t I have it all.
Flash forward roughly 15 years and I still believe with all my heart though you won’t find me regularly in attendance at only one church. I have been on a hunt for a home church for longer than I can even begin to blog about. You will see me with an impressive bun on my head at times and I do love dresses and skirts. You won’t spot me in a crowd anymore and think – she’s Pentecostal. At least probably not. I just don’t look the part these days. But don’t judge me because I know my failures and I talk with God about them all day long. I am his and he is mine.
I’m that lady who sneaks in right at the start of service and hopes you won’t all talk to me at once because I kind of want to be invisible. BUT don’t ignore me – please. I need to know that I’m not invading your pew. Almost always there are a few friendly and warm people who will come talk to me. I sneak in with a modest knee length dress on and my hair in a nice bun because it’s not as long as your hair. I don’t want anyone to view me as a “backslider”. I may even pass as a Pentecostal visitor from another church. Many times I have been asked by others “Hey do you go to so and so’s church?” I just quickly say no and awkwardly smile. The point here is I can look the part.
Being Pentecostal is more than looking the part. Being Pentecostal is being in a church service where the presence of the Lord is so strong that you don’t want to open your eyes. You only want to soak up his amazing love and peace. It’s knowing and having a true walk with God. It’s having a cure the world needs and you just have to share it.
Modesty and standards are very important because some are in place to protect us from our ourselves but they can be confusing at times. I also think women struggle with them in many ways. My point today is not to challenge standards. I believe that women should be modest and conduct themselves as ladies. I’ve seen modesty change over the years and I now see Pentecostal women almost in costume. The dresses are huge, the hair is huge, the headbands are huge, and so are the ego’s. Then my heart hurts because I’ve been on the inside looking out and on the outside looking in. There are hurting people looking at you everyday wondering if what you have is real. They need what you have. Show them it’s real because you may be the ticket to them turning it all back around to God.
My point today is the same point I have made many times in my posts. Modesty is more than a skirt. It’s how you treat others. It’s the expressions on your face. It’s the way you conduct yourself in public. Are you friendly to others? Or, do you think your better than the woman in pants? are you welcoming new visitors to your churches or are you annoyed that I’m in your seat? Do you Love people like me that have lost their way and are trying to get back? Or are you just going through the motions?
Pentecostal friends don’t be angry with me for what I’m writing today. I have no mean bone in my body about being Pentecostal. I love Pentecostals! The singing, the presence of the Lord, the hope, the truth, the joy, the peace that can be felt in a service is unreal. I’m simply trying to make a point that the attitudes of Pentecostals are on display more than you know.
The public sees you, I see you, everyone sees you. You stand out to the world as different but do you stand out in a positive or negative way? As a Pentecostal you are on display and so are your actions. People of the church can wound like no other. Why? Because the church is the hope the wounded are looking for. Where else will they go when they’ve lost hope in the church? there is nowhere else to go. Don’t take hope away with a bad attitude.
Please remember where you came from. You are a sinner saved by grace. Did you grow up in church? You are still a sinner saved by grace. You are the way to the hope many hurting people need. Inner and outward holiness go hand in hand. You can dress up the outside but your true colors will show. I’m thankful for the friendly churches I’ve attended. I’m thankful for the friendly faces I’ve met along the way. Those faces have shown me that hope, faith, and love are real.