Modesty: A Witness of Jesus Christ

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Immodesty is not only common, it’s accepted. We live in a time where we don’t even think twice when we see a woman in shorts that might be confused for underwear or a man walking down the beach in a speedo. We are hardly shocked by anything and for the most part, we’re comfortable. The thing that stuns (and may offend) people are believers who hold to a godly standard of modesty.

For the most part, our attention is first directed to someones outer appearance, so clothing plays no small part in the way we speak to the world around us. Just like our lifestyles, routines, and choices, clothing reveals what’s important to us. We, as believers and followers of Christ, are called to be salt and light. We have been set apart. This includes the way we dress and express our bodies.

“but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

When we’re immodest, we are expressing, “Look at me and my body.” But we live to point the world to something beyond us– someone much greater. We are foreigners in a dying world that is in great need of a Savior. We should ache and desire for them to know the name of Christ, and if we claim the name of Christ, then we dress to the glory of his name. We exhibit a standard that is not of this world, but of our holy God.

Our focus is not necessarily on clothing, for that is a fruit of our growing in godliness. Rather, we strive to adorn ourselves inwardly (1 Timothy 2:9). As we grow in love for the Lord, we begin to be transformed. Not only does change occur within, in humility and selflessness, it manifests itself outwardly, in word, deed, and behavior. God’s ways become our ways, and with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and by the conviction of the Holy Spirit our clothing choices change with us.

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

This truth must permeate into every part of our lives: We were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Our body is not our own, but an instrument created by God for God. Our clothes should reveal a heart that worships God. A few questions to consider as we try on our outfit for the day: Will it bear fruit as a witness of Christ? Will it glorify God? Will it shine light amid the dark world? Take heart, friends. God gives wisdom and grace, and he will guide us in an approach to modesty that brings him glory.

“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. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20