Summary: A carefully crafted, unashamedly Biblical and necessary message on the importance of the principle of modesty as applied to the choices we as Christians make regarding our appearance and the message it communicates about both ourselves and our Lord.
Modesty For His Majesty
Perth Bible Church Sunday AM October 28, 2007
Rev. Todd G. Leupold
As you can see, I’m taking a little different approach this morning. No slide show, no pulpit - just the LORD, you and me with little in between. I believe that what the Lord has put on my heart to speak about from His Word this morning, is best shared as personally and face-to-face as possible. It is a subject that God addresses throughout His written revelation; that affects us all and, yet, can be a sensitive, personal issue for many. And, as such, one that has great potential for misunderstandings (and getting myself in trouble).
It is an issue that is too often mistaken as one pertinent mostly to young women. In reality, it is an issue for all of us to reflect, grow and seek Christ’s guidance – female or male, young or old. It is also an issue toward which there is great temptation to assume it is really meant for others but never oneself. Please, don’t give in to that temptation this morning. Do not assume that you so are so perfected in Christ that it doesn’t apply personally. Do not assume that because others may be easier to point the finger at, there’s nothing wrong with the one doing the pointing. Nor should anyone assume that it is my intention to address any one particular person or group through this message. It is a universal message that is communicated to all who would hear – especially believers – throughout the Bible.
In addition, allow me to make clear that this message and Biblical principle is directed specifically to those who have committed to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. It is a standard expected of them, not necessarily others. If you are here today and you have not made that commitment, then I ask you to still pay careful attention and view this as a sort of “window” through which you may better understand why Christians take certain standards so seriously and how that reflects on the true greatness and holiness of God as we feebly attempt to represent Him!
SCRIPTURE: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31-33
This morning, we will be examining in Christ how we may apply and live out this verse in relation to how we present ourselves. In doing so, I believe, we will clearly and powerfully see that through our modesty in appearance we may display His majesty!
I know, believe me, I know: “modesty” has become old-fashioned, unpopular, and wrongly attached to airs of foolishness and self-righteousness in our culture today. In fact, I do not think it too strong to assert that in the mainstream of our society the idea of modesty has become taboo. But, guess what? This has not been a progressive step forward but a horrible step backward! Many of the most common and destructive problems we hear about today, in my opinion, can be directly linked to our society’s abandonment of and attack upon modesty. Just think about it: low self-esteem, infatuation with public attention, eating disorders, sexual harassment, date rape, objectification of human beings, all-time low in personal happiness, murder for sneakers, an all-time high in depression, anxiety and suicide, even steroids.
Ultimately, if you look deep into the problem you’ll find personal idolatry toward the self. Fifty years ago, G.K. Chesterton penned these words:
“Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the
organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be . . . Nowadays the part of
a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert – himself.”
Think about it. The moment someone suggests modesty or even hints at the possible immodesty of another, how do we typically respond: “That is sooo Victorian.” “What, you expect me to be a prude?” “What’s so wrong with wanting to look attractive?” “I just wear what’s comfortable.” “It’s my body, nobody can tell me what I should or shouldn’t put on it.” “If everyone dressed modestly like that, we’d all be the same – that’s a suppression of individual expression.”
Do you notice any common strains in these comments? It’s all about the self and nothing about others. My rights, my comfort, my taste, my worldly reputation. You see, my friends, modesty is not about the hemline. It is NOT simply a matter of style, clothes, make-up or adornments. It is NOT about a connection to the eye. Modesty, even and especially in appearance, is an issue of the heart!
Similarly, it is NOT about devising or imposing laws and dress codes. Nor imposing legalism It’s about each individual believer applying an important Biblical principle to every area of their life. It’s about extending grace and blessing unto others, even at the price of restricting oneself.