Summer is in full swing. And with it, all the fun things associated with summer; baseball, camping, and vacation. But, with summer comes new challenges to our faith. Immodesty to beat the heat, mixed swimming, where to worship on vacation, do I worship on vacation, scheduling conflicts, etc. It seems that summer provides many challenges to our faith that winter just does not provide. Few walk around scantily clad in winter because the wind chill is below freezing. Few vacation in winter because traveling can be hazardous to your health. Few are swimming because the water is frozen. I think at time being a Christian can be a lot easier in the winter when these challenges are no where to be seen. We must remember though that summer does not provide us with excuses to be weak. We are not going to be able to stand before God and say, “Hey, I was on vacation” as a justification for our sins. Well, we might be able to say it, but it won’t do us any good. Today, let us look at a couple of distractions to our faith in hopes of providing you with the courage to just say no.
Missing Services While on Vacation. I love vacation. I have had the opportunity to go to some really fun and exciting locations through the years. I love seeing the joy on my kids faces when they go to these places. I love being to sleep in and not have to worry about how much work I need to do around the house or in preparing lessons for the upcoming Lord’s Day. However, I must remember that vacation is not permission to miss services. Heb. 10:26 says that we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints. Many think that forsake means to utterly abandon or to miss a whole lot. To that I ask you, what did Jesus mean when he said, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?” Did God utterly abandon him? No, we know he didn’t because Jesus rose from the dead. Did he forsake him more than once? No, there is no record of that happening either. Forsaking can be done just once. When vacationing and we willfully choose not to assemble, we are sinning. (By willful I do not at all mean going on vacation and finding out that the church which you found is no longer assembling, I am talking about making no efforts to assemble with the saints). What if there is no church in the area? It is one thing to be stuck on the road where there is no church, it is quite another thing to purposely going to a place where you know there is no possible why to meet with Christians on Sunday. Let us have the resolve to glorify God even while on vacation.
Abandoning Ones Faith While on Vacation. Sometimes while on vacation we engage in things we might not normally engage in when at home. Perhaps we say things like, “There is no one from my home church watching, so who will know?” Or, “No one here knows I am a Christian so what difference does it make?” So, while on vacation we drink, commit fornication, gamble, or engage in some other sin. We fail to remember the lesson that Jonah learned in the belly of the fish; there is no place we can go that the Lord is not there. Just as Jonah could not run from the presence of God. So before you take up that glass of wine, remember, God is watching.
Immodest Summer Attire. As the summer temperature rises the amount of clothing worn decreases. As a person with plenty of personal insulation I understand completely the desire to keep cool. However, in the same breath, it is not up to me to determine how much clothing is too little. Too many Christians today want to you the standards set by society to determine what is and what is not modest. Well, about 6000 years ago everyone in the world wore the same skimpy outfit and God was not pleased. He still saw them as naked and gave them proper clothing. Once they were clothed with what God provided they were no longer considered naked. This tells us what God’s standard is. He gave Adam and Eve both a tunic. This tunic varied in shapes and sizes for the ancient Jews. However, even the smallest of these tunics covered more than what our modern fashions often do. They covered the shoulders, midriff, breast, and the thigh. (Yes some tunics had sleeves and reached to the ground). Uncovering of the thigh was synonymous with nakedness in the scriptures (Ex. 28:42). Just so that we are clear, the thigh is anything above the knee. Any upper part of the leg is considered the thigh and therefore should be covered. Brethren, we need to be certain that we dress with a sense of shame and not be so concerned with modern fashions.
Public Mixed Swimming. I am not concerned here about what you do in your backyard with your spouse and children. This is about going to public locations of swimming (pools, beaches, etc). The modern swimsuit alone falls under the immodest summer attire as it is equivalent to the loin clothes that Adam and Eve had crafted for themselves. But, even if you are dressing modestly, that does not mean that everyone else is dressing modestly. If you would not encourage your spouse to be looking at those types of images on his/her computer why would you allow him/her to look at such images in person? I enjoy swimming as much as the next person, but what just because I enjoy it does not make it right.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Volume 4 Issue 28