Modesty & Purity


    Modesty and purity of life are very close companions. The society in which we live gives little heed to the need for modesty in dress and behavior. Semi-nudity is so commonplace that a person who is dressed modestly is quite noticeable. People have forgotten or never have learned that God has spoken on this important aspect of human behavior. We do not set the standard for dress and conduct.

    Adam and Eve made themselves aprons of fig leaves to cover their nakedness, but evidently still felt naked (Genesis 3:7-10). God was not satisfied, either, and made them tunics of skin and so clothed them (Genesis 3:21). To uncover the thigh and thus expose the upper leg brought shame (Isaiah 47:2,3). This principle is applied to men as well as women (Exodus 20:26). The principle of physical modesty is so clear that it is used to illustrate the godliness needed to avert spiritual nakedness (Revelation 3:18). The attire of a harlot showed what she was (Proverbs 7:10; Genesis 38:15; Judges 16:1).

    Nowadays, excuses to undress almost completely are multiplied. Hot weather, swimming, sports, and even simply styles of fashion are all used to try to justify immodesty. God’s message is ignored, and conformity to ungodly undress is embraced. Those who wish to please God need to “awake to righteousness” (1 Cor. 15:34). “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds...” (Romans 12:2).

    Immodesty of dress interferes with purity of mind and with purity of behavior. It is a trial of faith and a challenge to one’s spiritual perspective even to walk the streets and shop in stores. Added to the daily menu are television programming, the Internet, many of the new cell phones and how they are being used and abused, and the language of so many of the contemporary “songs” on radio. How can a Christian maintain purity of mind while filling his ears with the vileness and corruption of this world of darkness? When teen idols debase themselves in lewdness and lasciviousness, what are their worshippers going to do? “Keep yourself pure” is God’s injunction (1 Timothy 5:22). Indecent exposure provokes lust and demonstrates base immodesty (1 Peter 2:11,12).
—Gilbert Alexander