How can we know what things are proper? Paul said we are to “test all things” (1 Thess 5:21). To test something you must have the right standard. Paul gave the Philippians a standard by which to live. It says, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy—“meditate on these things” (4:8-9). Christians are to be examples to the world. We are to let Christ shine through us, but this can only be done if we let God be part of our decisions.
So Christians must exhibit modest behavior in all areas of life, but as we enter the summer season, let me challenge you to especially remember to be modest in what you choose to wear.
All too often we let the season determine our dress. We justify immodest clothing with words like “style” and “fashion”, when really the words that fit are “revealing” and “shameful.” The Lord desires His children to be modest in their appearance no matter what the weather. Long ago Paul instructed Timothy to encourage godly women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Tim 2:9-11). Paul instructed Timothy in this way, because Christians are to draw attention to Christ and not themselves. In this case we learn that excess is to be avoided, but the Christian should also shun the opposite, which is wearing too little.
I believe the key phrase of Paul's message is where he makes reference to that “which is proper for women professing godliness.” Of course, this doesn't only apply to women! All Christian, men and women alike, must strive for godliness (2 Peter 1:6-7). Therefore, as we dress for whatever occasion, let us seek God’s advice on what to wear. We are ambassadors for Christ and He is counting on us to set the right example.
- Josh Allen (Pikeville, KY)