I decided to become a follower of Jesus in my third year of college. I had never thought much of religion, God, or even Christianity up to that point in my life. I remember a guy that was attempting to talk about his faith to me, but was later arrested for stealing clothes from other students on campus. He was caught wearing the clothes in a class when one of the students he stole from recognized a sweater his parents bought him. The large disconnect between what he said and what he did turned me off, and his words did not have much impact on me.
Then I heard musician Amy Grant (whom I had a slight crush on), talk about the messages that our clothes send. She said that one reason we wear what we do is to make a statement. She added that if our clothes send (or shout) the message of immodesty, that is a wrong message to be sending to others. We might as well wear a shirt with large letters on the back that say, “loose,” “playboy or playgirl,” or “thought-life destroyer.”
Amy Grant also said something I remember: “Modesty is purity in action.” I learned as a college student that my heart commitment to Jesus is revealed in the way I live – the decisions I make, the way I use my words, even the way I dress and take care of myself. I remember some girls in school that sarcastically said, “Yes, I am waiting for the right guy.” But they were known for hardly wearing anything and were very flirtatious with the men.
I also remember a discussion about modesty in Chi Alpha when I was in graduate school. One of the senior gals said, “I like to wear clothes that are modest and not showing too much flesh, and yet are not too tight. I believe in not dressing in such a manner as to cause my brothers-in-Christ to be tempted to struggle with lust.” Then one of the guys said modesty is not just for females. To honor the Lord, men and women should dress in a way that will not cause members of the opposite sex to stumble.
Read Colossians 3:5-12.
The apostle Paul wrote to Christians in the first century and argued that they should, “Put to death…sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed” (3:5). He meant that we are to literally wipe out impure stuff from our lives. If our language, attitudes, actions, even our choice of clothes causes others to have impure thoughts about us, we have failed them – and God.
All of us were trained by our mothers to take off dirty clothes, throw them in the laundry and then put on clean ones (after cleaning up, brushing our teeth, and combing our hair). Thanks Mom! Paul added in v 9-10 that Christians are expected to renounce their evil ways and live in accordance with the rules of Christ’s Kingdom. Paul went on in v 12 to say the people of God should wear a certain kind of clothing: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Why do you dress the way you do? How does your clothing – or lack of it – affect your self-image and how others view you? Why is your modesty so important to God? The clothing other people should see is the beauty of Jesus and His character radiating from our face, words, and actions. Modesty is a part of that beautiful attire.
Walk wisely. Because of the salvation God offers, Christians must put forth every effort to live godly lives. Dressing for success today is challenging. Remember that modesty is best.
Love is a verb,