one of the biggest push backs i received on my first posts about modesty was when i wrote about the effects immodest dress has on our brothers (and sisters).
basically, i said that while dressing sexy is a heart issue for us in finding approval in others instead of God, immodest dress lacks caring to show concern for those who struggle immensely with sexual addiction and sin.
boy did i get the comments.
i'm not responsible for someone else's heart!
you're objectifying women and shaming them for body parts God made!
go live in the middle east! (ha. yes, that was said)
perhaps i'm opening the can of worms right back up. but it needs to be said.
when we dress immodestly, especially on purpose, it shows an intense lack of concern for others in which we are called to live in community with. while this can happen in many aspects in the church...like not using your gifts and talents to serve the church, not caring for those who are suffering around us, looking the other way at blatant sin in one another and even justifying it...and so on and so on, i am only tackling how immodest dress in the community of believers is harmful.
when we dress sexy, that points us to a greater set of heart issues happening in us. one being, pride. i work hard at the gym for this bod and i want to show it off.
i love my legs. i want others to love them too!
if others like my body, i will like myself!
the fact that we want to show off our body is self centered and self praising. it also garners attention and approval from others which we need to be finding in Christ alone. again, we can garner attention in a lot of show-off ways that even seem good...serving so others might see us, sharing talents and gifts so others might praise us, showing off our money so that others might lift us up, and perhaps in dressing so that others will say, WOW! look at her!
all are prideful and self-praising.
the other fruit of self praise and self centeredness is blatant disconcern for others in the community. when we say, on purpose especially, i know this is sexy and those guys and gals will just have to deal with this amazing cleavage, we are not mirroring the self sacrifice that the gospel displays for us. while we may think we have the right to show off our stuff, the gospel compels us to seek the good of others out before our own good.
i.e. protecting you, brother, is more important than a cute tight skirt. even though i have the figure for it. even though i'm not responsible for your choice to sin, i submit to others and say, i care for you and i will die to my own desires.
paul says, hey...this is how you live in community:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ... philippians 2:1-30
so HUGE. it's not blaming you for making others sin. there's no condemnation here. it's saying, if you know Jesus. if His spirit lives inside of you, then it will compel us to look at others and say, you are more important that me. i know that is a struggle for you and i will submit.
and Jesus would know all about this too. having rights to display all sorts of power and choosing to die to himself instead to proclaim something greater than himself. his Father. literally dying to himself, humbling and submitting himself, so that others would see God.
that is hard to swallow, i get it. there are so many cute things out there. it's fun to get that rush of approval and it's easy to get sucked into letting our bodies and what people think about our bodies determine who we are.
dressing immodestly is "dressed up" as harmless and fun, but that desire to know who you is a really gigantic heart issue that needs to be dealt with.
your identity can only be found in one place, God. what Jesus did for you on the cross should radically change us and compel us to seek His glory and the good of others first, before our desires.
dressing modestly is just one practical way the transforming power of the gospel displays itself. one tiny way. there are a million other ways, of course. we're looking at a facet of a modest heart that portrays itself in modest clothing.
but let's pray for a heart like that. the dying to self heart. the heart that proclaims the Gospel and not our bodies. i need that kind of a heart.