There has always been some tension about the subject of clothing in relation to holiness. Some will argue that what you wear does not make a person any more holy than what you do not wear. This, I would agree, is true. However, on the other side of the argument, others will argue that a practicing lifestyle of holiness will make an individual more mindful of the types of clothing that they wear. I am inclined to agree with this argument as well. Although the Bible does not provide any specific guidelines as to the manner of clothing to be worn by the believer, It does state in one place,
“…Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way…” (Rom. 14:13),
and in another place, It states,
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God…” (1 Cor. 10:23,31),
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost Which is in you, Which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s…” (1 Cor. 6:19,20).
The idea is that, as believers, we should “adorn ourselves in modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9). This does not mean that we should carry ourselves in an unkempt manner…after all, we are representing the King. But what it does mean is that we should be mindful enough to not wear anything that would lead another person (regardless of whether they are a believer or unbeliever) into an area that would weaken them and cause them to stumble and yield to the temptations of their flesh.
Our actions…every thing we do, every decision we make, every word we say…may not appear to be harmful on the surface, but it is the effects on the inside that can and does cause the most harm to an individual. Jesus admonishes us to
“…be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves…” (Mt. 10:16).
Paul later says,
“…walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…be renewed in the spirit of your mind…neither give place to the devil…see then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is…” (Eph. 4:17,18,23,27; 5:15,17).
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him…” (1:5).
Although the Bible does not provide the Body of Christ with a long list of do’s and don’ts in relation to how we should dress, there are a few things to consider:
- If we take into consideration that we are representing the King as His ambassadors to the unbelieving world, then we would take every precaution to not bring reproach upon His Kingdom through our clothing presentation, and
- We would take into consideration that some of our brothers and sisters may be struggling in an area and our manner of dress may be the stumbling block that causes them to fall, and
- We would consider whether our manner of dress is acceptable and pleasing to God.
As believers, we should always exercise good judgment beyond ourselves in consideration of the greater good of the Christian community. We should always have the best interests in mind as it relates to representing the Kingdom of God. Wisdom and discretion is in order when it comes to our manner of dress as we strive to live a lifestyle of holiness that is pleasing unto the Lord…#thinkonthesethings