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Forsaking the World

“I am in earnest about forsaking ‘the world’ and following Christ. But I am puzzled about worldly things. What is it I must forsake?” a young man asks.

“Colored clothes, for one thing. Get rid of everything in your wardrobe that is not white. Stop sleeping on a soft pillow. Sell your musical instruments and don’t eat any more white bread. You cannot, if you are sincere about obeying Christ, take warm baths or shave your beard. To shave is to lie against Him who created us, to attempt to improve on His Work.”

Elizabeth Elliot comments on the above dialogue, “Does this answer sound absurd? It is the answer given in the most celebrated Christian schools of the second century! Is it possible that the rules that have been adopted by many twentieth-century; Christians will sound as absurd to earnest followers of Christ a few years hence?”

Elizabeth Elliot, The Liberty of Obedience, Nashville, Abingdon, 1968, pp. 45-46