On Modesty

by Bryant Evans on April 3, 2011

Summer is just around the corner. Warm days, beautiful skies and blooming flowers all point toward the changing of the seasons. It’s a marvelous time of year. I  know few people who don’t yearn for the coming of summer. But with the turning of the calendar pages comes a decrease in clothing. It’s wise to give some thought to modesty – for both genders – before we head out to enjoy God’s grand creation.

A dress code should be part of every person’s plan. How you present yourself in public speaks loudly about who you really are and who you represent. We are Christians, an ancient name adopted first by believers in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Those who wear the name self-identify as a believer in the Sonship of Jesus, as a learner of His teachings and a follower of his commands.

To wear the name must include a change of life away from the usual ways of the world. It is more than just a name – it is a way of life. First century Christians (and many since then) have given their lives for the way of life that is the Christian. They refused to change their allegiance to Christ even when facing horrible death. Consider the courage of Queen Vashti who refused to display her beauty in a vulgar way.

Now, we may not think it fair but it is true that people make judgments about us based upon what they see and not what we say.  We do it all the time. We say we are not interested in someone who “talks the talk” but instead we look for a person who “walks the walk.” How we conduct ourselves really does matter. How we dress really says something about us.

Have you ever wondered why salespeople in high-end clothing stores always dress nicely? They are sending you, the customer, a message about the importance of dressing well. Why do successful attorneys wear business attire in the courtroom? They want to be perceived as a professional. Book after book has been written about how to dress well. Dress for Success has been reprinted and updated year after year and remains a big seller. Why? Because the clothes we wear tell people who we are.

What message do you deliver on the weekend?

Now if you are expecting me to give specific details on the length of a hem or how long sleeves should be of the length of an inseam you will be disappointed. The Scriptures offer no such instruction.  Our faith is of the heart. It much more than following a bunch of rules. Instead our lives flow from our hearts which have been made pure by Jesus Christ and the cleansing rebirth we enjoyed at our baptism. So what standard should we use?

  1. Would I be embarrassed if Jesus physically stood before me while I am dressed in this way?
  2. Do my clothes invite others to stare or leer at me?
  3. Am I constantly fighting my clothes to keep from showing too much?
  4. Was I uncomfortable the first time I wore these clothes in public, or am I now uncomfortable?
  5. Do I make it more difficult for others to have a Christian mind when they are around me?

We live in near paradise here. The weather is beautiful and we are surrounded by water. Like the mighty mountain peaks the snow white beaches are a gift from God. The beach can be enjoyed if we give a little thought to where we go, when we go and what we wear. You are not your own. You belong to Christ so honor him in all you do!

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price, therefore, glorify God in your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)

 

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