|Volume 20 Number 6 June 2018||
Martha Lynn Rushmore
Christian men and women, we are to be modest. What does that mean? Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“In like manner, also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided air, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection” (1 Timothy 2:9-10). We women are to act like Christ who is our best Christian example of compassion, meekness, strength and obedience to our Father in Heaven.
We usually think of being immodest as one not wearing enough clothing. When I was in school, one of my classmates wore five or six necklaces and five or six bracelets. By the definition of modesty, she was immodest because she brought undo attention to herself.
Now to the other side of the coin. If a woman can be immodest with little clothing, then why are men left out of being immodest when running around with no shirt or very short shorts? If the Bible talks of immodesty for women, does it also apply to men who are immodest? Teen girls and older women look at guys, too. If a man can be in public with no shirt, then, does it not imply that a woman could do the same thing? Many contemporary women are making that argument.
I am amazed at how many women and young girls come to worship with low cut tops. They are so low that we can see cleavage. Of all places, the assembly ought to be where men ought not to be tempted with immodesty and where women certainly should be sure that their primary motives pertain to worshipping God acceptably.
We always hear of women being immodest when they run around in short shorts, halter tops, shirts so low that they expose themselves, bikinis or skimpy bathing suits, and clothing so tight or skirts so short that nothing is left to one’s imagination. When men look at us and make remarks, we are insulted. Yet, men are provoked and enticed by girls and women who do not wear clothes that cover them.
The definition of modesty includes one’s language and behavior. Therefore, we should not use foul language or behave badly, bringing undue and unfavorable attention to oneself. We are to abstain from all appearances of evil—every form or type of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
[Editor’s Note: The fundamental meaning of “modest” (1 Timothy 2:9) is to be “orderly” or “decorous.” Yes, then, immodesty includes both being insufficiently dressed as well as being overdressed. The meaning is broad enough to include deportment—actions and words. Regarding modesty as it pertains to clothing, clothing was originally implemented for two purposes—to conceal the human form and to protect one from the elements (Genesis 3:7, 21); God covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness with animal skins. Often these days, clothing neither conceals the human form nor protects one from the weather. When the human form is not concealed—too much skin exposed or clothes essentially painted on one’s body—what passes for clothing in those instances is counterproductive to the original purpose of clothing, and it is immodest. First Corinthians 12:23 presumes that especially the children of God will modestly cover their “unpresentable parts.” ~Louis Rushmore, Editor]
It has been noted by this writer that the most difficult funeral we will ever attend is the death of self. The purpose of this article is to be very specific about at least ten hurdles or barriers that we will face in the death of self and our desire to look more like Jesus.
If any of us are wondering if these or similar expectations will be on God’s final test, be assured they will be. Why? They are all based in Scripture because He has spoken.
To borrow a thought from one good brother who is literally fighting for his life: “One of the richest, most encouraging, stabilizing promises ever found is Jesus’s statement of the purpose of His coming. ‘I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10). We misread when we falsely conclude this promise eliminates daily problems, difficult moments, unavoidable sicknesses, uncomfortable settings, upsetting scenarios, along with the ten-thousand other things that clutter an otherwise most enjoyable life.”
The death of self is a process that we who want to go to Heaven will be striving to achieve to a much fuller degree as long as we live. Even though we are in these weak, worn and wayward bodies, we can and do have the victory through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.