I have recently been thinking about modesty… specifically how I have gone about it all wrong. I apologise for thinking legalistically about the issue. I have failed to think through the issue and address it with the true answer… the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian life is never just about rules and laws… Its about the heart, and about what Christ has accomplished on the cross.
Tim Challies did a series on modesty a few years ago and it has been refreshing and enlightening. He reminds us its not JUST and issue for women but also for men. He reminds us that we can still be immodest EVEN when we dress modestly.
How? Because modesty ultimately is a heart and gospel issue. And I have failed to address that. And so I apologise. Thinking about it this issue legalistically will only lead us to a self righteous kind of life. It will lead us to think we are better then others because of the way we dress, and think. So let us think carefully about how the gospel shapes our modesty.
Here is a excerpt from his last post, Modesty Matters Part 3: What Not to Wear.
WHAT TO WEAR
The ultimate solution to immodesty is not a list of rules or a checklist; the solution is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. And isn’t it interesting that the gospel is all about being dressed? When Christ suffered and died, he was stripped naked and nailed to a cross where he was clothed in all of our sin and unrighteousness. All we had ever done wrong was placed upon him. All of our immodest desires and behavior were placed upon him.
Because he took our sin and suffered the penalty for it, and because he rose triumphant from the grave, we can now put our faith in him. When we do that, he clothes us in his righteousness. He strips off our sin and clothes us in his goodness.
If you are a Christian, you are clothed in the gospel before you are clothed in anything else. You are not wearing Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein or whatever label you like best. Not first and foremost. You are wearing Jesus Christ. This means that every article of clothing that touches your body is going to relate to the gospel in some way.
As a Christian you have the privilege and the calling to display the power and the reality of the gospel in your life. You can do that or can hinder that in the way you dress. You can dress in such a way that people see nothing of Jesus and everything of you. They might see your body and see your style, but miss Jesus altogether. Or you can dress in such a way that your clothing matches your message, that people see Christ in you.
So as you browse Amazon looking for a new shirt, as you are rummaging through the clothing racks, or even as you are considering the way you dress, your first thought needs to be for the gospel. Will this clothing contradict my message by making people notice me? Or will it complement my message and allow me to draw attention to Christ? Be careful here! You can draw attention to yourself as much through ultra-modest clothing as through ultra-immodest clothing. And over-emphasis on modesty can actually be immodest.
And there is our challenge: to be modest men and modest women clothed in gospel of Jesus Christ who will do nothing and wear nothing that will detract from that glorious message.
Great stuff… Please comment below about any thoughts.
Also check out his other posts on Modesty
Modesty Matters Part 1: The Heart of Modesty
Modesty Matters Part 2: Imperishable Beauty
Modesty Matters Part 3: What Not to Wear
Modest: Men and Women Clothed in the Gospel
Reducing Modesty to Rules