Is religious jewelry something a Christian should wear?
There is often debate regarding whether Christians should wear religious jewelry. While Scripture makes no direct statements regarding whether religious jewelry is good or bad, there are some biblical principles that can apply to the matter.
First, it is clear religious jewelry, such as a crucifix or cross, should not be worn if it is used as an object of worship. First Corinthians 10:14 teaches, "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." We are not to bow down in worship to a cross or crucifix. We serve the Lord, not a necklace.
Second, we should not be consumed with our religious jewelry as a fashion piece or to attract personal attention. First Peter 3:3 teaches, "Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear." There is nothing wrong about a cross on a gold chain, but there could be something wrong if your entire focus is in causing people to look at a high priced piece of religious jewelry you are wearing in order to gain attention.
Third, our jewelry should not be a stumbling block to others. Paul wrote in Romans 14:13, "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." If our jewelry causes other people to sin or stumble, we should reconsider whether it is appropriate to wear it.
Fourth, children should honor their parents regarding the wearing of religious jewelry. In some cases, a parent may oppose the wearing of certain jewelry. A child is called to obey his or her parents: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1). Colossians 3:20 says, "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."
Fifth, caution should be used in work contexts where there may be restrictions regarding jewelry. We are to submit to governing authorities (Romans 13:1). However, we may also need to sometimes take a stand if we serve in a context in which religious liberties are discriminated against (Acts 4:19).
From a practical perspective, we can also ask, "Does wearing this particular piece of religious jewelry help me to serve God and share my faith? Does it glorify God?" If so, then it is likely a good thing for you to wear. If not, there is nothing wrong with refraining from the wearing of certain religious jewelry.
God looks at our heart and knows if our desire is to serve Him. We must also realize what we wear can impact and influence others and use what we wear to give an appropriate view of our faith in God and help us in communicating Christ to others.
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