Should we wear jewelry?
A: Dear Alecia,
Thank you for your question.
I suppose I could say that as human beings with free will, we are “allowed” to do whatever we like (at least when we become adults). God never forces anyone to follow Him. However, He does tell us that if we choose to follow Him and call ourselves Christians, there are certain rules we must follow for our own eternal good. There are dangers that God sees that we don’t always see. Those who choose to follow God will put their trust in His word more than how they “feel” about something, or what other people think.
The Bible teaches us that the wearing of jewelry has been a way the devil has used to lead people away from God and into idolatry. The earliest we find someone wearing jewelry is when the Bible tells us of the creation and fall of Lucifer. The Bible says “Every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings”(Ezekiel 28:13 ). The Bible then tells Lucifer that “Your heart was proud because of your beauty” (Ezekiel 28:17 ). It seems clear that Lucifer’s jewels became a reason, at least in part, for his pride and rebellion against God.
Jacob allowed idols to come in among his family. When Jacob decided to re-commit his family to God, the Bible says he put away their idols and their jewelry (Genesis 35:4).
Then there’s the story of the golden calf that the Israelites made out of their jewelry, and God commanded them to get rid of their jewelry or He would destroy them (Exodus 33:5-6).
The Bible tells us of how the idolatry of God’s people led them into the practice of wearing jewelry in Isaiah 3:18-21, and how they tended to forget Him when they put on their jewelry (Hosea 2:13).
It was a pattern among God’s people that their jewelry led them away from Him, although I’m sure they didn’t think it did. They wore jewelry so they could be like the world around them, and be accepted by the world. Jeremiah wrote that God’s people put on jewelry to make themselves beautiful (Jer. 4:30). God wants us to believe that He has already made us beautiful, and to appreciate the beauty He has given us naturally. He wants us to know that He thinks we are beautiful regardless what the world might say. The devil knows that when we try to be like the world around us, it takes us away from Jesus. This is why both Peter and Paul wrote about how the followers of Jesus should not dress themselves in jewelry and worldly clothing (1 Timothy 2:8-10; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
Based on these Bible teachings, many famous preachers have taught that Christians should avoid wearing jewelry. Charles Finney, the Presbyterian Revivalist and President of Oberlin College, said “When a young lady begins to backslide, she will begin to put on ornaments, jewelry, and costly attire. These things are natural indications of the state of the heart.”—The Finney Sermon Collection, vol. 2, p. 838.
Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist evangelist, said “If some people had a little more piety, they would not require such a showy dress…. The best earrings that a woman can wear, are the earrings of hearing the Word with attention. . . . the very best dress we can ever wear, is a garment wrought by the Holy Spirit, the garment of a consistent conduct.” —Sermon Collection, vol. 1, pp. 516, 517.
Ellen White wrote, “Love of dress and pleasure is wrecking the happiness of thousands. . . . To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith. – Reflecting Christ, p. 265.
Jesus wants us to stay close to Him. He doesn’t want our happiness to be wrecked. He wants us to be ready when He comes again. He lovingly asks us to separate ourselves from any practice or habit that would build up our pride and endanger our eternal life. I trust that He knows best, and I choose to follow where He leads. I’m sure you want to follow Him, too!
Thanks for writing, and remember, there's never been a better time to share Jesus!
Your friend, Pastor Howard
*Note: All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise indicated.