Friday, May 02, 2008

CJ on Modesty

There are few Christian authors who can combine real cultural and spiritual insight, genuine love for the gospel, and humility while addressing everyday situations and life issues. One who I love as a preacher and a writer is CJ Mahaney.

CJ is currently through 4 of what will be 7 posts that are excerpts from the forthcoming book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Crossway, Sept. 2008), which CJ is editing. In this series CJ is giving excerpts from his chapter on modesty.

CJ focuses on the heart behind the clothes--which I love! Choice of clothing is like any other decision a person makes: it reveals something about a person's desires, motivations, etc. Pastorally, there are all kinds of issues surrounding modesty that can be addressed both in guys and girls.

Here's are a couple of the comments I've appreciated so far...

Any biblical discussion of modesty begins by addressing the heart, not the hemline. We must start with the attitude of the modest woman.
Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear.
There’s an inseparable link between your heart and your clothes. Your clothes say something about your attitude. If they don’t express a heart that is humble, that desires to please God, that longs to serve others, that’s modest, that exercises self-control, then change must begin in the heart.

For modesty is humility expressed in dress.
A woman’s taste for beauty can be an imitation of God’s character, but it can also become corrupted. And such was the case in this first-century church. Paul exhorted the women who professed godliness: “You should not dress in a way that resembles those who are extravagant, or worse, intent on being seductive or sexy. You must not identify with the sinful, worldly culture through your dress.” Paul was writing not to condemn attractive attire but to address its corruption by association with worldly ideals and goals.
Please know that I don’t write as a self-appointed critic. I am simply a concerned pastor who charitably assumes that most Christian women who dress immodestly are ignorant of the war with lust that men confront on a daily basis. They probably don’t have a clue what goes on in a man’s mind and what effect their bodies have on the eyes and hearts of men young and old.

But I want no one to be ignorant after reading this chapter. ...
And I don't want you to be ignorant. So go check out CJ's blog and follow this series as he posts. It will be well worth your while!

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