I have heard many believers say things like, “My dressing doesn’t matter. After all, God looks at my heart…” I think that statement is somewhat flawed. Let’s consider, Does it matter how a believer dresses?
In reality, we are Spirit beings, the body is just as a container while we exist on this earth. This flesh is not as ‘born again’. That’s why it still desires the things of the world, hence the need to put the body under subjection (1 Cor 9:27). So, we see from the start, your mind and body still aren’t aligned with your new nature. Gradually as the believer gives more room to his spirit man and renews his mind, his body and everything else (his behaviour, habits and even appearance) begin to comply. In fact, if a new convert just keeps hearing about who he is in Christ and other realities of his faith, without preaching moral standards and all, he begins to adjust himself accordingly.
So firstly, modesty in dressing is an outward sign of the ongoing work in you. If the work on-going in you is what we say it is (conforming to His image), then it should radiate and affect even your dressing. There just has to be some correlation of some sort. No one needs to ‘preach’ it out of you. The Bible says “…And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
Will dressing modestly take you to heaven? No. Only faith in Jesus Christ would do that. So one may say, “what then is the big deal???”
The Bible in several places spoke about adornment, dressing – how we are expected to dress. The one that comes to mind now is
1 Timothy 2:9-10a (ESV) “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…”
There are some attires that don’t do justice to who you are in Christ, that is not respectable. The Bible also says… “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” That means we are to treat it with honour and dignity. Dressing shabbily, immodestly and inappropriately definitely doesn’t do that.
Also very critical is this bible verse:
1 Cor 8:12-13: “By sinning against your brothers in this way and wounding their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him, to stumble”
Paul here was talking about food… and as basic as food may seem, Paul was saying he’d forfeit meat forever if that would cause his brother to fall. For some ladies, the way you dress you know would cause not only brothers but even some sisters to stumble or be distracted. That is not you showing love. So as is within your power, do well to be modest, respectable and honourable in your dressing. When you dress modestly, you honour God, your body and others around you.
Same with guys too! Modesty is not just a ‘ladies’ thing. God expects his children to be decent in appearance as we represent Him on this earth.
My final point is this: While on earth, we are Christ’s ambassadors. So people are supposed to see how on this earth, we represent the Father. If I was to represent Nigeria in a foreign land, I am sure you don’t expect I go there dressed like a Scottish woman or a Ghanaian… it is only expected that I dress as is appropriate and as a Nigerian. Take for example the Olympics, there would be a problem of misrepresentation if as an athlete from Nigeria I get there and my tracksuit reads the USA. Same applies to us, we have to represent God well on this earth.
1 Cor 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Even in your dressing, there is an end in view… to the glory of God. So when you dress, ask yourself.. am I properly representing the kingdom? Is it for His glory?
This is not to say that you cannot be fashionable o. So many people just think modesty is equal to over-size clothes and sweep-Lagos-clean clothes. Mba oooo! I disagree. While I do not have a rule book of modesty for believers and I do not think people should live by one, I think Holy Spirit in every believer would help them know what is modest and what isn’t. It is unfortunate that the world today has taken immodesty to be their standard. I’d say to you… don’t settle for it (Romans 12:2) Don’t settle to the world’s standards. It might need you to go the extra mile sometimes but it is worth it.
I recall one time I needed to be at a conference and there was a colour code. I didn’t have that colour of a dress, all I had was limited time on my hands. Sadly, all I saw in the market were ‘funny’ Some may not think it as immodest.. but I wasn’t quite at peace with myself buying them so I got a fabric and made a dress instead.
I also had a nice peplum blouse one time like that, it is sleeveless. I thought it would expose my arm too much so I got another blouse of a matching colour that I wear underneath and I am good to go.
So, in the end… it may require some extra effort and creativity. God sees our hearts and readiness to represent Him well, He always has a way to help us do just that. Let me know what you think. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.
Check out these other awesome articles on LIFEGIVA.COM