As I walked into Walmart and observed a family group of people from the Muslim religion, I was struck by a thought.
I observed the stares, the looks and then was struck by the look one of the women gave me. I was dressed in a knee length skirt and t-shirt, bare legs with sandals, hair up and covered by a lacy circle of cloth, yet in her eyes…which were the only part of her body that were visible, I realized I would appear very immodest.
I felt the circle of judgement begin, the one that I have seen and felt myself through the ages of time. Each group has their rules. Cape dresses, plain dresses, solids, flowers, nylons, no sandals, sandals, pants, no pants, headcoverings, no headcoverings, styled hair with headcoverings, and not styled hair, short skirts, long skirts, caps vs. veils.
You start to wonder when you hear the discussions, the comments and over and over again I hear how the judgement concerning clothing and clothing styles has caused greater division than many things in our world and society.
The weird thing is, that the judgement I may receive from a conservative Christian for not being “modest” enough hurts just as bad as the contempt I may receive for being “too modest” or “legalistic” from another Christian.
Why do we subject each other to the circle of judgement on matters that are not even mentioned in the bible?
Was I dressed modestly in my t-shirt and knee length skirt? I believe I was. Was I modestly attired if I was visiting a Muslim community? I likely would have worn a longer skirt and long sleeves out of respect. Would I be doing it because I believed I was not modest if I didn’t? No. I would be showing respect, just as my boys may show respect for others that don’t believe the same about clothing choices like shorts for boys etc. and not wear them around them, if they can help it.
I think we don’t conform to everyone around us. We stand in our beliefs or comfort levels, but we also need to be careful when passing judgement on another for being less or more covered than us at times. We are not the judge of all the earth. We can judge ourselves, but not everyone else all the time.