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“An Indication of Spiritual Authority”
1 Corinthians 11:13-15
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.
Thoughts for Today:
In our passage today, Paul says that a woman's long hair is equivalent to "a covering". Therefore, a woman with long hair has no need to wear an article of clothing (a veil), because her hair is her covering. Conversely, it is a disgrace for a man (verse 14) to wear his hair long. (Again, we need to be reminded that this was the custom of the time and is not necessarily applicable to our present culture.)
Now, we can go back to some of the previous verses in Chapter 11, and read them with renewed insight:
1 Corinthians 11:4, says that a man who prays with long hair ("his head covered") is dishonoring Christ;
1 Corinthians 11:5, a woman with short hair is dishonoring her husband, just as if she had a shaved head;
1 Corinthians 11:6, if it is a shame for a woman to be bald, then she should keep her hair long.
Although these were the customary practices in Biblical times, Paul was not approving or rejecting any particular hair length or style. He was simply using hair as an illustration that God, not man, was to be their spiritual authority.
Questions to Ponder:
I think all these passages related to hair length and style comes down to one simple instruction: Don't be so consumed with how other people look or how you look to other people -- unless it causes a distraction when it comes to worshiping God. Does your conduct and the way you present yourself, demonstrate a humble obedience to God or something else? Paul says in his day -- hair style meant something. Do your hair style or body adornments mean something in our culture? What does yours say about your relationship with Christ? What should it?
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About the author
Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.