1 Kings 18:28
So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. (NKJV)
Ancient practices of idol worship included cutting oneself, walking through fire, body piercing and other peculiar rituals. Some of these are still practiced by certain cults and religions today. Do these practices have any semblance to what some people deemed as “cool” and fashionable today – namely, tattooing, the wearing of rings pierced through different parts of the body, doning peculiar hairdo, etc. In fact, these seem to be the vogue today. Most of these actions leave permanent marks on our bodies, much like what those idol worship practices would do. But more importantly, what is the purpose of such practices? To draw attention to oneself? To be associated with others who do the same?
The call of the gospel is to newness of life. Our desires ought to be God-centred and not self-centred. Hence, we should desire to exhibit behaviours that would direct the attention of people to Christ, rather than to ourselves. We should desire to be associated with Christians. We should disassociate ourselves from questionable practices. While some may appeal to Christian liberty in such practices, there are weightier matters such as, eg. stumbling others, that we need to consider. The ultimate question to answer would be: does what I do glory God or does it glorify myself? Very often, external behaviours are symptoms & reflections of what is really in the heart. Let us examine ourselves before God.
Questions for meditation:
1) Is God pleased with how I adorn myself?
What you can pray for:
1) Lord, help me be ever conscious of your presence with me & let this create a fear in me that will help me shun sin.