Modesty, your heart and scriptures
Hello, thanks for clicking on my link, may God continue to bless you. My name is Bibi and I'm a Nigerian blogger based in Toronto, Canada. My blog is faith and lifestyle based, check out my last post: Christians and Ableism (Superiority to disabled people). I'm excited you are here!
I did this post as requested by my dad last year, he asked me to do a write up for our family (my young and vibrant sisters especially) to encourage everyone to dress modestly. I hope you learn something from this. Remain Blessed, Amen.
When someone says modest dressing what comes to our mind is "unattractive, grandma looking manner of dressing". You are probably thinking Bibi is about to tell me to stop being attractive and good looking, lol. Before we continually lay hold of that idea, let's first check out what it means to be modest.
The word “modest” means “unpretentious.” Synonyms for unpretentious are honest, natural, real, simple, sincere, and unpretending. To be modest means I’m not trying to impress you with any element of extravagance or excessiveness. I am being real in all that I am, in this case, in my clothing choices. Being a modest person surpasses your clothing choices, it also reflects the disposition of your heart. I mean you can wear the longest skirts, have no makeup or jewellery on but have a prideful and condescending heart. Alternatively, you can be “modestly” dressed in some circles and switch up to whatever you want in other circles. You’d agree with me that both scenarios are pretentious, right?
My take on modesty is to be inspired from the inside out in your fashion choices. It’s not news that we have been brought into a higher life and higher standards. We have been separated from the world even if we live in the world. We have a different life, a different culture, and a different mindset; it’s called the mindset of the righteous. We have the mind of Christ since we have been made God's very own righteousness in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV) for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” [a] But we have the mind of Christ.
You were sanctified by the Spirit; meaning that He separated you and declared you holy and undefiled by grace. Therefore, it's time to walk in your righteous identity. Don’t copy the world; otherwise, you can’t attract them into the kingdom of God. Let everything about you edify others, and bring glory to the Lord in every way, and every day, for you’re the light of the world.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Our idea of fashion and beauty changes, I mean check out your old pictures and you’d see this. This is why we should work harder on investing in our relationship with God. In our time in prayers and the word, we experience a genuine transformation that is done by the Holy Spirit. You know when you are constantly being led by the Spirit as a son of God that you are, he brings a lot into your life that makes you a shining light wherever you find yourself. He is our helper, teaching us things that are pleasing to God.
Romans 12:2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Personally, sometimes I foolishly decide not to listen to the Holy Spirit and wear some outfits. When I get to my destination, he nudges me so hard that I start to feel so uncomfortable and leave the gathering as soon as possible. Sometimes when I manage not to pay attention to his nudges, I begin to feel a sense of guilt when I begin to interact with people (friends and strangers). This feeling of guilt obviously shows that my outfit choice was not modest aka it was pretentious for me to have worn that dress. My sense of guilt stems from the awareness that I am wearing something that is not me especially the new creation me.
Thankfully with spiritual maturity, I have developed questions that help instil a practice of modesty when I am shopping or getting ready. I often ask myself the following:
What is the motive behind this outfit? Am I wearing it to gain attention from people? To make them see my body? To make them see that I have an expensive taste? Am I trying to get the attention of the opposite sex? These questions have really helped me to make better clothing decisions. I'm still working at this so don't think I'm perfect!
1 Peter 3:3-4 TLB: 3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on jewelry, or beautiful clothes, or hair arrangement. 4 Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God.
To wrap up this post, Christian modesty is not about looking a certain way to get approved, you are approved already by grace. The Scriptures teach that Christian modesty is for the purpose of developing inward beauty but not to the exclusion of external beauty. You can be modest without looking shabby or unfashionable. There is no reward for looking shabby in heaven. God is the Creator of beauty and to look beautiful honours Him of whom you are made in the image of. You can be elegant without being extravagant.
Some tips for Christian modesty:
- Wear clothes that match
- Wear colours that compliment your complexion
- Wear clothes that fit properly
- Wear clothes that are up to date but not necessarily the latest fashion or trendy.
- Wear clothes that are clean, tidy, and neat (iron if necessary).
Nope, I won't tell you the appropriate length for your skirt or not to wear red lipstick backed up with some ridiculous claim about the devil's love for the colour red. I won't tell you what to wear or not wear, I am not the Holy Spirit. The hope of this post is to encourage you to start involving Jesus in your outfit choices. Your inside has to crave modesty so it can be evident in your outside. Don't do things because you think this will "help God" to not be angry with you. Newsflash, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary has wiped off all of God's anger. Your choice of the outfit does not influence his constant love for you.
Romans 13:14 Living Bible (TLB) But ask the Lord Jesus Christ to help you live as you should, and don’t make plans to enjoy evil.
It's time to promote modesty because it keeps our hearts where they should be, on the Lord and not on ourselves. We promote modesty because it's a virtue and virtues aren't dependent on someone's reaction to it. Modesty frees up our time to do "good works", ministering to others, instead of worrying about our appearance.
When you know who you are, you won’t have false modesty. - Sunday Adelaja