Luke 6: 46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
John 14: 15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
What do you think of when you hear the word modesty? Most likely it’s rules about dressing that comes to mind: how short, how low, how tight, how sheer. But modesty is more than just our choices of clothing. Modesty is about living in a way that Christ is magnified and we aren’t.
Whether in apparel, in word, in attitude, or anything else, immodesty reigns. We love to draw attention to ourselves, flaunt our bodies, flaunt our money, and flaunt our style. Those actions are just as immodest as dressing in tight, see-through, or low-cut clothing. Modesty, in all areas of our lives, has fallen out of style because the church is nearly indistinguishable from the world. Even among so-called Christians, being like our friends is often more important to us than what our Lord commands. Modesty is a commandment but how many of us care?
If we want to be pleasing to the Lord, we must begin to care. If our lives center on Him, our choices will too. One of the areas that many of us need to work on is dressing in a way that pleases the Lord–without falling into the trap of legalism. I’ve heard young women say that if they were wearing a bikini and a guy lusted after them, it was his problem and his alone. Yes, men have to take responsibility for their actions and if they give into lust, God holds them accountable. However, if a woman has dressed in such a way as to cause a man to lust, God will hold her accountable, also. The same, however, is also true of men. Some guys go around with their shirt open down to there or with no shirt on or in tight pants. For some women, these are stumbling blocks just as much as a woman’s immodest apparel is a stumbling block to men. Other men might flaunt their wealth, or dress in a way that he knows is attractive to women in order to draw attention to himself–even if he is fully covered, these actions are still proof of an immodest heart. It matters not if we are covered, if our desire is to draw attention to ourselves rather than to our Lord, we are immodest–and we are sinning.
Lust isn’t just a guy’s issue. Modesty isn’t just a woman’s issue. Guys can be just as immodest as girls and women can lust just as much as a man. Because men are visual and their minds complete the pattern their eyes see, immodesty among women is, overall, a greater stumbling block to a male than a guy’s immodesty is to women. That’s overall. But I’ve known women who lusted greatly and boasted greatly about their lust. Both are wrong to lust, and both are wrong to dress in a way that leads others to lust.
Luke 17: 1- 2, “Then he said unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than he should offend one of these little ones.” .
I Corinthians 6: 20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to God. It is God alone that we must please. Everything about our lives should glorify our Savior. If we either dress in an immodest fashion or allow our children to, the witness that we are giving to the lost says, “My God doesn’t have any standards. Just come to Him and you can do what you want.” God has standards so high that, were it not for the blood of Christ and the grace of God none of us would be able to stand before Him. When we ignore His commands in order to do what we want, we are sinning.
Modesty begins in the heart. A modest man or woman will exhibit qualities such as gentleness and humility (Colossians 3: 12).They will not strive to be “front and center” and gather attention for themselves. Their clothing, like everything about them, will point to God.
This message could have been for me about 30 years ago. No one told me I was being immodest in my choices of clothing or in my attitudes. It took the grace of God in opening my eyes for me to realize it. I don’t say what I’ve said out of malice or a holier-than-thou attitude. I wish someone had told me what I’m telling you. May God be glorified by our desire to honor Him in every single aspect of our lives.
Soli Deo gloria!