Short skirt affecting anointing?

The Question:

Our music minister's skirt is way too short. Many women have made a comment to our Pastor and he ignores it. The music minister is his sister. If anyone says anything, her mom says we are jealous, which is not the case at all. The woman has gone to Bible College and I feel she knows better. Can the length of a person's skirt affect the anointing in a church service?

- No name or city given


The Answer
Part 1: Increasing the anointing
Part 2: Living above reproach

Increasing the anointing (Part 1)

I hope you won't mind if I delve into this issue from a couple of different angles. I will handle the area of modesty and "appearances" tomorrow so keep reading but first I'll answer your question with a question.

You ask if the length of a person's skirt can affect the anointing. What about a critical spirit? Can that affect the anointing? I raise this so that you can take the time to judge your own heart and determine if there is any of that lurking around inside you regarding this woman. Scripture tells us to first take the beam out of our own eye so we can see clearly to remove the speck from our brother's eye. (See Luke 6:42) I'll let you decide.

Regardless of your own conclusion, let's continue. If sin can decrease anointing, can't love increase it? 1 Peter 4:8 says; "And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins." In part Peter is quoting Proverbs 10:12; "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins."

Every church is filled with broken sinful people; that's why we all need God's grace so much. Suppose this music minister's short skirt reflects sin in her life? She needs God's mercy and grace in one area but you probably need it in some other area. So how should we treat each other when we bump up against their sin? How about if we fail to notice it - fervently love them - and pray they will do the same for us when they notice our failings?

Covering sin with love does not mean ignoring gross moral failures or criminal activity. Those things must be addressed by those with spiritual authority over the church. Skirt length, fashion styles and preferences etc. don't fall under that category. In this situation I would suggest that you avert your eyes from her clothes altogether and look instead at what God finds to love about her. Pray blessings over her; sincerely praise all her best qualities and never participate in any negative comments about her.

That's what I am saying to you; now what would I say to her?

Next: What if she had asked the question?


Living above reproach (Part 2)

What if this question had come from your music minister? Suppose she wrote in and asked what to do about all the criticism she was getting from people over the length of her skirt? Now, just as I asked you, I'm going to ask what is in her heart.

Is there vanity? A desire to place attention on herself? A cavalier attitude regarding the place of influence she holds? Immaturity or naiveté regarding the possible seducing effects her dress could cause? The fact that she has been to Bible College really means nothing. She may or may not be in personal sin over this issue. But she should not dismiss the criticisms without serious thought and prayer.

Every Christian has a responsibility to represent Christ on the earth in a way that is above reproach. We are called to holiness. Therefore, dress that offends should be avoided. The Bible tells us to dress modestly and not be an occasion of sin to anyone. On the other hand, there are some who would hold that even an open toed shoe is immodest. We can't dress by someone else's standards and yet we need to be sensitive to what may be offensive to others.

What should a person do? To the music minister I would suggest addressing this issue with openness and frankness. I don't think the criticisms should be dismissed out of hand or by slinging back an accusation of jealousy. She should not hide behind her brother or mother.

To my reader who asked the question I suggest making an appointment with the music minister and telling her from your heart the objections you have and why. Be gentle, simple, and honest. She may come back with a perspective that changes your mind or you may win her over if she finally understands how this comes across to many people in the congregation.

No matter the outcome, continue to love her and treat her with respect - never bad mouthing her, especially if she continues with exactly the same skirt length. Regardless of what she does, make sure the anointing in the church is never diminished by anything in your heart.

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