Modesty in Dress and Grooming
1 “All the men, even young boys, wear ties. All the women and girls, both adolescents and little ones, wear either a dress or a skirt. There is not a pair of jeans or an opened collar to be seen. Everyone here is radiant.” So said a news report. What sort of crowd was it describing? A political rally? A sporting event? A rock concert? Far from it! It was describing a group of brothers and sisters at a large district convention last summer.
2 At another convention city, a newspaper reporter gave this description of the crowd of Witnesses: “All men are clean and wear suit and tie. The women dress modestly but with elegance.” A second observer, a security guard, stated: “You are well-behaved, respectful, clean, and tidy people. What I see is beautiful. In this filthy world, you managed to move aside the dirt!” What fine testimonials in our behalf! Are we not thankful that our brotherhood could be so well spoken of? Of course, all in the crowd contributed to the good reports by their exemplary appearance.
3 We have become known worldwide for being distinctly different in our appearance. (Mal. 3:18) Why? Because we follow the Scriptural admonition to “adorn [ourselves] in well-arranged dress, with modesty and soundness of mind, . . . in the way that befits [those] professing to reverence God.”—1 Tim. 2:9, 10.
4 What Do You Indicate by Your Dress and Grooming? The clothing that we wear and the way that we wear it make a definite statement about us—our beliefs, attitude, and intentions. The styles that we choose state who we are and what we stand for. We must never promote the debased thinking and conduct that is popularized by the world. Our concern is not whether a certain style is extremely fashionable but whether it is appropriate for one professing to be a minister of God. (Rom. 12:2) Rather than choose a look that flaunts an independent spirit or that suggests an immoral life-style, we want to show that we truly “glorify God.”—1 Pet. 2:12.
5 At times, one who is new, inexperienced, or spiritually weak might accept whatever the world promotes in dress and grooming without first considering how it reflects on Jehovah and his organization. All of us might undertake some self-scrutiny to see if we have been influenced by the world’s thinking. We could approach a respected, spiritually mature brother or sister and ask for an honest observation about our style of clothing and grooming and then seriously weigh the suggestions given.
6 Some readily agree that they should be careful about how they dress while in attendance at the convention. But then they lower their standard during leisure activities after the sessions. Maintain the high standard that befits Christian ministers. (2 Cor. 6:3, 4) Wherever we go in public, our convention badge cards along with our appropriate dress and grooming identify us as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hence, our clothing should always be well-arranged and modest, indicating that we are “no part of the world.”—John 15:19.
7 Let us do all we can at this year’s “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” District Convention to prove that we are “a people holy to Jehovah [our] God.” The good impression that results will add to Jehovah’s “praise and reputation and beauty.”—Deut. 26:19.
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How to Glorify Jehovah:
■ Dress in a manner that befits a minister of God.
■ Avoid styles that follow the spirit of the world.
■ Demonstrate modesty, which reflects soundness of mind.