Proverbs 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Often times I am given a word by the Lord and it is up to me to search out His intentions. Today is was dignity. In this one current assignment I have found a difficult and demanding task. Within the bible there is a sense of being lifted up, worthiness in the eyes of others. Even the more straightforward dictionaries carry a sense of having earned a position of honor and respect based on someone else’s opinions.

It is the modern era of enlightenment that its use in moral, ethical, legal, medical, and political realms that the word has taken on ambiguous definitions. In sometimes it is purposely undefined as if it is a given, a thing understood without discussion. It was in this long list of arenas and usages that I lost my way. How could I bring this word into context and relativity to my readers when I could not get a firm grasp upon such an elusive subject? Then the Lord brought back into memory an event that happened many years ago.

An old woman I spied in an alley one day, obviously wearing everything she owned, because she had no place to keep them, searched the ally for discarded aluminum cans. She pushed a rusted ragged discarded shopping cart, filling it with cans she had found. As I approached her, the stench indicated she had not bathed perhaps since the last rains. I offered her money to help her. She pushed my hand away and said in a strong voice of conviction…

“I have my dignity.”

Personal dignity cannot be imposed nor defended by the opinions and standards of others. It is self-imposed by a strong belief system. In Christians it is faith based. Proverb 31:25.