Summary: This lesson challenges you to ask yourself the hard questions about why you wear what you wear
This morning I will be speaking on the subject of modesty. This is an important topic that affects EVERY person here in some way, but it is unfortunately at times a divisive topic, especially when considering specific applications. My prayer for the lesson this morning is that we understand what the heart of this issue really is and at least give you some questions to ask yourself when it comes to your wardrobe. I only ask that you work hard in trying to apply this lesson to yourself; to your own heart and life. Don’t try to apply this lesson to someone else. Don’t say to yourself, “I am thrilled brother or sister_______________ was here to hear this.” Apply this lesson to yourself.
And before we get into the lesson, I would like to say this: men, listen up. It may be true that the passages that deal with modesty in the New Testament speak about it primarily as a concern for women. Although this will be the main focus at times during this lesson, this does not give us as godly men a free pass to dress in whatever way we want. Amongst God’s people, men also can be guilty of being immodest in their dress. So this lesson is for the women and the men! We all need to think about what we wear and the affect it will have on others.
So from our text in 1 Timothy 2, I plan on making three points:
• The Concern of the modest person
• The Clothing of the modest person
• The Commitment of the modest person
THE CONCERN OF THE MODEST PERSON
Any biblical discussion on the issue of modesty needs to begin with the concerns we must have inwardly, in our hearts, not on where we need to draw lines. In verse 9, Paul says, “women should adorn themselves in respectable (proper- NASB) apparel, with modesty and self-control.” Her appearance is mentioned first (which we will talk about in the next point), but the “how;” how she needs to adorn herself is given in the second part of this verse: “with modesty and self-control.” If you are going to be respectful in your clothing towards God and your brothers and sisters in Christ, it must come from a heart that it is concerned with modesty and self-control. Your clothing (whether you like it or not) is a public declaration of what is, or is not going on in your heart. Your clothing sends a message as to whether modesty is a concern of yours. The ways you think about clothing will be different from the world.
“women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.”
Let’s look at these 2 words for a moment:
First: modesty, or propriety depending on your translation. This is talking about avoiding clothing that is going to bring attention to yourself. Is it revealing? Is it sexually enticing? How about this: Is it extravagant? Is it showy? Immodesty is so much more than wearing a low cut shirt or a short skirt! Immodesty is all about drawing undue attention to yourself or putting yourself on display. What is the Biblical term that speaks of someone that wants to bring attention to themselves instead of the Lord? The term is pride, or arrogance. I heard a really good quote when I was preparing for this lesson that said “Modesty is humility expressed in the way we dress.” Once again, “modesty is humility expressed in dress.” Your dress, when it is modest, shows that you are not thinking of promoting yourself or having your clothing or body to be on display for others to focus on. A modest heart shows that you do not want to be the object of sensuality, lust, covetousness, jealousy, etc. This is what modesty is ALL about. It is about the message that you want your clothes to say about you.
**** But I want to throw this out there so I am not misunderstood. I am not saying that every person who dresses immodestly has a problem with pride and wants people to notice them by overdressing or wearing revealing clothing. It may be the case that we just don’t understand or think about how our clothing brings attention to ourselves. We may be ignorant of how a certain outfit reveals too much or that certain jewelry, a pair of shoes, or any piece of clothing we wear may bring unneeded attention to ourselves.
Self-control- your translation may say “discretion, sobriety, or moderation.” The idea is this: What kind of restraint are you showing in what you are wearing? When we look at the women in this world, I am sure we would agree that not much restraint is used at all! The Greek word can also mean “sanity/in your right mind.” I like this definition, because as I see some of the things that people put on, I think to myself that these people did not think before they put on what they did! Some people, men and women alike, in my opinion, are just crazy for what they put on! For those who are godly, what you wear should show others around you that you have set boundaries for yourself based on what God teaches in His word and not based on the world.