November 26, 2023 | Duane Roberts
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“Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.”—1 Corinthians 11:13–16 (NIV)
In today’s Scripture, Paul wraps up his instruction on head coverings and worship. The last two devotionals have delved into the context for why it was an important issue for Paul to address. Let’s quickly recap!
God created men and women distinctly yet with equal value and worth. They relationally support each other in necessary and beautiful ways. Men should not be cowardly in their rejection of humble leadership and sacrificial love as they lay down their lives to serve the women around them, and women should not be prideful in their rejection of a gentle yet courageous spirit and a submissive heart to both God and spiritual leaders in their lives whether it be a father or their husband.
A reflection of submission to God’s design for men and women in that time was the use of head coverings in worship. Women would wear this in worship to reflect their submission to God ultimately and then to their husband. Additionally, men should not wear coverings because it would reflect a rejection of their God-given role and of their gender identity. Translated into modern day, the equivalent of that could be how men and women choose to dress or behave in relation to each other both inside and outside of the church.
At the end of the day, passages like these challenge us to trust God with the countercultural truths that we may not fully grasp or immediately understand. We must ask ourselves the question, “What is in my heart? Who is truly seated on the throne?” because if it’s Jesus, then you’ll let Him change your convictions and transform your heart and mind to be more like His.
Think about the way a butterfly becomes a butterfly. First, they are caterpillars. When the time is right, they make a cocoon and undergo a painful, long, and complex process of transformation to become the butterfly they were always meant to be! This seems silly, but it’s a good example of what our lives should look like. When we receive the forgiveness of Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Him, we begin the journey of transformation to become more like Jesus! Two aspects of our lives are different from a butterfly though: First, this journey will last for the rest of our lives, and second, we already have access to freedom in Christ! Because of this, we can recognize that our submission and participation in the transformative work of the Holy Spirit is actually our worship to God!
So, what if we actually evaluated our actions according to the model of Jesus’ actions and teachings? What if we worshiped Him with our lifestyle? What if we served one another with humility, love, and respect? What if our view of God was bigger than our view of self? These are the kinds of questions we should ask ourselves to inspire true worship. Keeping our eyes on Jesus and His kingdom and our hearts rooted in His truth will always prove to be our anchor and light. He’s our anchor keeping us secure in the midst of every storm, and He’s our light guiding us on a straight path in a dark and confusing world.
Pause: What area of knowledge or habit in your life still needs to be transformed by the Holy Spirit and God’s truth?
Practice: Make a list of things that may be hard for you to biblically understand or surrender to God. Pray over them and ask God to work in your heart to help you understand His truth more, submit to His instruction, and worship Him in surrender.
Pray: Holy and beautiful Father God, thank You for being committed to my transformation. Not only did You send Your Son to pay the penalty of my own sin and shame so I could be restored to You, but You shower even more grace on me daily by drawing me deeper, pulling me closer, and setting me apart for holy use. It’s hard to fully grasp Your instruction and Your truth at times, but that will never take away from the fact that You are always good and worthy of worship! I surrender today and every day. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.