Does It Matter How We Dress?

The way in which we dress, may send an important message to others, of the kind of person we wish to be. For example, people who dress in a slovenly fashion may display a “do not care” attitude, whereas others who wear showy clothing may wish to draw attention to themselves. Whether we dress modestly or otherwise, sends a message to those who see us, and may be a strong indication of the company we wish to keep. Is it with the people of God, or is it with the world?

We should remember that our manner of dress could give rise to unforeseen consequences. For a girl to wear make a mini-skirt, a low-cut blouse or tight fitting clothing may be offering temptation to young men. For this reason the Word of God emphasises moderation and condemns immodesty. “Let your moderation be known unto all men…” (Philippians 4:5) and “…there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts…sensual, having not the Spirit.” (Jude 1:18-19)

To dress either in the height of fashion or in a tempting way is not becoming for those who fear the LORD. Flee such things!

But then you might ask, what image should we create by our dress? To pay attention to what people see and neglect the more important matter of the state of our heart is to be a Pharisee. But, if our heart is right with God, then our behaviour will demonstrate to others that we desire to fear Him. So in the matter of dress, we should ask ourselves: Why should we wish to be like the world? Is it to be thought well of them? Is it because we are afraid of being different? Again, what about the wishes of godly parents? Will your dress be a gift to them? But even more important what does the Bible say? If your conscience is healthy you will not wish to offend God’s people, nor to bring reproach on the name of Jesus by careless behaviour. In these things, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

These principles should apply wherever you may go, but especially when believers are gathered together, where we profess to worship a Holy God and be crucified unto the world and the world unto us. May our dress be no stumbling-block to others who assemble with us.

When the children of Israel sinned in the Wilderness, they made a golden calf and worshipped it. God commanded Moses to tell them that they should put off their earrings and their adornments, because they were to show themselves truly sorry and humble before God. How we need the same tender spirit before God, to pray that we may not be left to dishonour Him, either by what we wear or the company we keep. These, as we have observed, often go together.

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