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Modesty Lets Our Light Shine

As women who love the Lord, our primary pursuit is to adorn ourselves inwardly (1 Timothy 2:9).

Interestingly, our choice of clothing is part of that outward change. This is why we need not burden newer believers with a ton of rules about dress. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, his ways become our ways. We become more aware of what pleases the Lord. We become more sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit. And we notice our choices begin to shift, sometimes right in the dressing room, as we seek to clothe ourselves outwardly in a way that reflects the holy work being done inwardly.

Choosing to Dress as a Living Witness

Too often modesty discussions among believers devolve into a list of do’s and don’ts, which inevitably change over time, and from one person to the next. There was a time when bare arms were scandalous. And who can forget the yoga pant wars?

Our choice of clothing is personal and particular. As women, we know what flatters us, what styles and colors we gravitate toward, which fabrics we prefer. These considerations and more—including what we consider modest—factor into an ultimate purchase. But how often do we consider our witness?

We have been bought with a price; we are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). This is a truth that threads its way into every facet of our lives, including our apparel. Whether to buy a particular outfit may not be about right or wrong. It may not even be about whether one could justify it on the edges of “modest.” It may simply be whether it is profitable as a witness of Jesus Christ. Will it glorify the Lord? Or will it dim the light within?

As with every aspect of our Christian lives, the Lord gives much grace and he gives wisdom liberally. We can and should seek him on this issue, as with any other. He is able to give us a heart of modesty, to give us eyes to see our clothing as he sees it, and to guide us into a manner of dress that glorifies him. Even as we go through a process of change, those around us will notice.

Being salt and light isn’t about being perfect. Our light shines, and our influence is felt, even as we are being transformed.  

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Kim Cash Tate (@kimcashtate) is a wife, mom, blogger, and author of several books, including, most recently, Hidden Blessings. She and her husband, Bill, live in Saint Louis.