Proper Decorum as a Christian
1 We are “a theatrical spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men,” stated the apostle Paul. (1 Cor. 4:9) As Jehovah’s Witnesses we consider it a privilege to represent our Father, Jehovah, in a clean and modest way. We know that our conduct, speech, grooming and clothing styles all can influence others as to how they view the true worship of Jehovah.
2 Christians are expected to maintain proper decorum. Our conduct, grooming and dress at all times should reflect the decency and dignity that befits dedicated servants of God. It certainly would not be fitting for Christians to be immodest or inconsiderate of others.—Mic. 6:8; 1 Cor. 10:31-33.
3 When others view us, what do they see? Does our dress bespeak a lack of modesty? Could our dress and grooming be viewed as suggestive or provocative? Would others be distracted or offended by our appearance, bearing or manner? According to reports received, this has actually happened. Many of you brothers have expressed particular appreciation for comments that were made at the “Kingdom Loyalty” District Conventions last summer regarding proper Christian conduct, dress and grooming.
4 One of the talks, you will recall, stated very forcefully: “Why any servant of Jehovah God should want to imitate the styles that characterize the immoral, rebellious elements of the Devil’s world is difficult to understand. Why try to be like the world and so stand out as different among Jehovah’s people? Should you not rather appear like Jehovah’s people, and so stand out as different when among worldlings? Whom are we trying to please? Whose favor are we currying? Why not take a cue regarding well-arranged dress and grooming from the mature brothers who have the greater responsibilities? Can we not take a hint and imitate their good example?”
5 One group of young Witnesses who live by this counsel were very much surprised when, after having dinner at a large restaurant, they learned that an elderly couple had observed their Christian conduct and bearing at the restaurant and had voluntarily paid their bill of approximately one hundred dollars. The non-Witness couple was greatly impressed by the fine Christian conduct and appearance of this group of young Witnesses.
6 So it is vital that we give attention to what we wear and how we appear to others! Instead of drawing undue attention to ourselves by means of improper clothing styles, conduct or grooming, should we not rather reflect the image of our Grand Maker, Jehovah God?
AT OUR MEETINGS
7 Our dress and decorum at the meetings should bespeak the dignity associated with worshiping Jehovah at his house. Paul stated at 1 Timothy 2:9, 10 that women should dress “with modesty and soundness of mind.” Men, too, would want to observe this same principle. Ignoring such counsel would be showing a lack of respect for our Christian meetings, including the congregation book study, elders’ meetings and others.
8 Some may have problems with being on time for congregation meetings. Of course, it is understandable that at times unavoidable circumstances may be encountered. But love for the truth and for our brothers will move us to come early, when at all possible, so as to benefit from wholesome Christian fellowship. Often it is simply a matter of good planning.
LISTEN AND LEARN
9 Individually we have a responsibility to listen and learn. (Luke 8:18) We want to get the most out of the meetings, since the information is coming from the ‘faithful slave’ and is for our spiritual feeding and benefit. (Matt. 24:45-47) Parents have a responsibility toward their children to see that they also listen and learn. Where they sit during the meetings may have a bearing on how they listen and whether they learn or not. Are they sitting with those who will help them concentrate on the meetings? During meetings is not a time to be eating or playing.
10 It is good for elders and ministerial servants to set a good example by being seated and listening rather than caring for some responsibility during the meeting. In our field ministry, conduct, appearance and bearing, let us all apply Christian principles, doing all things out of love for God, Christ Jesus and our brothers. This will be in line with the words of Paul, who said he wrote certain things “that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, a pillar and support of the truth.”—1 Tim. 3:14, 15.