Preaching Christ with Your Clothing
“Today we’re going to be addressing modesty...”
I cringed and sensed the sparse hairs on my arms stand on end. I didn’t like being convicted. “Haven’t I heard enough?!” Obviously not, since my dressing habits at the time hadn’t changed in the slightest and my heart refused to receive correction. The way I dressed seemed right in my own eyes. After encountering Proverbs 12:15, I learned pride is the biggest characteristic of a fool.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. -Proverbs 12:15
I praise God for the work of His spirit in my life as He has gracefully convicted and enabled me to heed to correction. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t, especially with the pressure to conform to the fashion trends of the world. But His Word has supplied me with encouragement.
Primarily, we must understand that if we truly are Christians who love God, we cannot love the world. This includes the worldly trends for lower necklines, higher hemlines and tight fitting clothing. 1 John 2:15-17 says “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
It doesn’t matter if immodest trends are in vogue. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus reminds us that everyone else dressing immodestly doesn’t give us a reason to blindly follow suit and use that as an excuse. We should be part of the few that make their way through the narrow gate. This may prove to be hard as we might be the odd ones out, but we know in our hearts we seek to ultimately please an audience of one.
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 at a price. So glorify God in your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
In Paul’s letter to the believers at Corinth, he reminds them that their bodies don’t belong to themselves, rather to God the creator and Jesus the Savior. Isn’t it amazing that the ineffable God of the universe dwells within you? Isn’t that incentive enough to clothe yourself in a way that represents and reflects the God that is within you?
The Holy Spirit that is within us is God. He can be described as:
HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, INCORRUPTIBLE, HONORABLE, PURE, GOOD, DECENT, EXCELLENT, CLEAN, INNOCENT, UPRIGHT, SACRED, SANCTIFIED, CHASTE, SPOTLESS, UNDEFILED. The list goes on.
Does your dressing style match the characteristics of the Holy Spirit? As God-fearing Christians, our appearance should mirror that of the Holy Spirit within us. The way we dress says a lot about us but, most importantly, it should speak the truth about the God we serve, especially to the watching world of unbelievers.
I particularly love this quote:
What intrigues me about this quote is that it suggests that every aspect of our lives -- including our appearance -- should proclaim Christ. For instance, we won’t always get the chance to stop every single person we pass on the street to introduce them to Christ, but our set apart appearance can pique their curiosity. As such, we may lead them to Christ rather than drawing attention to ourselves. Obviously, that it is not to say that we shouldn’t speak, for faith comes from hearing the message (Romans 10:17). My point is that every aspect of our lives — including our appearance — should proclaim Christ
This is also echoed in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 as it says we should clothe ourselves “with what is proper for women who profess godliness.”
Our dressing says quite a bit about the state of our hearts. If we dress in an ungodly manner, it suggests that we care more about ourselves and not God who commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind!
Our dressing should glorify God. Just as the Bible says we should eat and drink to the glory of God, likewise we should dress to glorify God!