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God's Promise: Genesis Part Two |  the galaxy with stars and  purple, orange, and blue clouds. God's Promise: Genesis Part Two |  the galaxy with stars and  purple, orange, and blue clouds.

Questions and Answers | Modesty

Everywhere I go, including church, I see more and more people dressing in ways that are disrespectful and distracting. And no one seems to be talking about it. Are our bodies not part of what we offer to God? Isn’t modesty a biblical principle?

Your question makes me sigh; I agree with your concern. We have become far too casual, without reverence, and sadly, without dignity. I would also add that modesty is bigger than what we wear; modesty begins with a humble and pure heart and extends to how we act. Individualism must bow to holiness. We have to be ruthless about what is in our heart, what is forming our behavior. We are organic beings—body, mind, and spirt united. Culture is not our guide; God’s standard of holiness (put in place for our protection) comes from His love.

In her articulate book on modesty, author Melissa Holmquist writes, “We’ve stopped talking about modesty.” Parents are intimidated by their children and afraid of the conflict, so they don’t teach and protect them. Holmquist understands that for some, modesty became a bad name. It has been “distorted, used as a weapon, as an excuse for men or to bring shame on women.”

Nevertheless, modesty is clearly taught in the Bible. First Corinthians 6:19–20 says plainly: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Here Paul is comparing our body to a temple, meaning a place or house of worship, a synagogue. Having that perspective should elevate our attitude about our body and challenge us to worship Him in what we do (and even with what we wear).

In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Romans 12:1–2 well. “Take your everyday, ordinary life— your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering...Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out...Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over five decades. She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. Rosalie is a published author, respected speaker, and talented writer. She lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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