Knowledge of who we are in Christ is crucial in order to live up to the biblical standards of modesty. Modesty in the dictionary is defined as a behavior, manner, or appearance to avoid impropriety or indecency. To be modest especially is to consider what our clothes and behavior represent. Modestly is simplicity. It is not vain or boastful and takes into consideration how our choices can influence the lives of others. If someone asks you are you dressing modestly? What would you answer be? According to Nell Sunukjian “Modesty is needed in every century and in every culture.”
Jesus sets up a good example when it comes to modesty. Living in a society where we are constantly sold an upgraded version of ourselves is difficult to live accordingly to what God calls us to. But why does it matter what we wear? I have always questioned if really my choices in what I wear can really affect others. I mean what I love the most about clothing is the fact that we get to express our own sense of style through different pieces. Although, the Bible says that even in those small decisions we must be careful. In 1 Samuel 16:7 for example says:
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
It is a challenge to take our hobbies and wardrobe to fit into a godly character. Kevin DeYoung writes, “being pretty (or handsome) is not a sin, working to improve your appearance does not have to be vanity, the line between modest and immodest is not always black and white – we are still left with the undeniable biblical fact that God considers modesty a virtue and it’s opposite a vice.” Another great example of how our clothing can be so closely connected to our self-worth. In Proverbs 11:22 says, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” In this verse, Solomon uses the word discretion to portray that shows the tasteful judgment that one can have when the definition of modesty is clear. If we are unaware of our worth, we can attract wrong attention to ourselves. We always don’t know if every little decision even choosing what to wear this morning can affect others, but Jesus said above all, love. Even in little decision making we should run to God for his wisdom and become more like the person Solomon talks about here:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” – Proverbs 31:25
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
When you read the Bible, we come across a selfless concept of what we usually think when we’re going to choose an outfit. Modesty is more about Christ and less of self. Humility, purity, and generosity not a requirement of our faith but do it out of love for God. We exist to honor God, with our physical bodies and our behaviors. The advantage of being a child of God is that we no longer have to care to fit into this world because we’re not of it. Since the beginning, God didn’t intend to create shame it was the sin that entered in this world that brought this feeling upon us.
Modesty is the expression of inner purity not only in the way we dress but also in the way we behave. Paul gave advice to the Philippians to fix their thoughts on things not of this world. This truth should remind us that in our modern society we should filter everything’s through the truth of God’s Word ( Philippians 4:7-9) If you feel that you want to give this part of your life to glorify God than I think is a wise decision. David prayed for God to search his hears, and I will recommend you do the same, ask God to redefine our definition of beauty and modesty. I can assure you that He will.