WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 25, 2023
TOPIC: DRESS DECENTLY
BY T. O. BANSO
“And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2 New King James Version)
The subject of dressing in the church or among Christians is a sensitive matter. Many ministers are not pleased with what they see. Some have probably chosen to keep quiet because they don’t want to step on toes or provoke negative reactions.
Someone said if some pastors talk to their members, not the visitors, about indecent dressing, they will lose their members. If preaching the truth about decency in dressing will make some members leave a church, it is most likely that God didn’t bring them in the first instance.
Many people in the church and society are talking about indecent dressing in the church, especially by the ladies. Those in leadership cannot pretend all is well. The authorities of some higher institutions, which are not even owned by the church, have introduced dress codes to curb the excesses in dressing and restore sanity on their campuses.
The indecent dressing that we see in society has found its way into the church and I am not talking about women wearing trousers. It will be pretentious and a needless academic exercise to argue about what constitutes decent or indecent dressing. Let no one hide under the concept of “liberty in the spirit” to promote indecency. What you wear is as important as the spirit in you. It could reflect the spirit in you – the Spirit of God or the spirit of the world.
Sometimes the way you dress says something about who you are. People receive or treat others first by the message their dress conveys. No matter who you are, if how you dress does not convey a positive image of you, you will be treated based on the image your dress conveys. If someone dresses like a prostitute, he/she will be treated like that even if the person claims to be happily married or is a Spirit-filled Christian. If you’re filled with Christ, you don’t dress to satisfy the desires of the flesh.
There is a spirit behind dressing. Christians, male and female, who dress indecently, do so because they have a strange spirit, which makes them wear strange clothing. That’s why they cannot dress decently. A child of God does not wear strange clothing.
God says in Zephaniah 1:8: “And it hath come to pass, in the day of the sacrifice of Jehovah, that I have laid a charge on the heads, and on sons of the king, and on all putting on strange clothing” (Young’s Literal Translation). Other translations refer to strange clothing as strange apparel, foreign apparel, pagan customs, robes from strange lands, etc. The real problem was not that the clothing or apparel was strange or foreign but the spirit behind it. The Amplified Bible puts the scripture thus: “Then it will come about on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice that I will punish the princes and the king’s sons and all who are clothed in [lavish] foreign apparel [reflecting their paganism].” The strange clothing reflected paganism. The people of Judah imitated pagan customs.
Someone sent me two different pictures of how women dressed in the past and how they dress today. The two photographs were placed beside each other with a caption that I can’t remember its exact words now. But it said something like, “This is how women used to dress before Satan became a fashion designer!” While it is true that culture is not static, decency must remain a virtue. Satan is behind indecent dressing in our society and the church.
A strange spirit has made some Christians dress like pagans; they dress like nonbelievers. Some nonbelievers even dress more decently than some tongue-talking Christians who expose parts of the body that those with sound minds won’t.
Unfortunately, the world is dictating what the church is wearing. Daughters of Zion have taken after the daughters of Babylon! “And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart” (Proverbs 7:10 New King James Version). Some daughters of Zion wear the attire of a harlot in and outside the church today.
The New Living Translation renders Proverbs 7:10 thus: “The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart.” Seductively dressed and sly of heart! Does that describe how some ladies, including married women who profess to be Christians, dress today to church and outside the church? They call that freedom! Is that freedom or bondage? Some regard talking about decent dressing as legalism! How is decency legalism?
Many people believe that some ladies purposely dress indecently to seduce men, including pastors, whether in church or elsewhere. The ladies or women are not the only ones guilty of indecent dressing. Maybe some men also dress indecently to seduce women or for other ignoble reasons. They are behaving like the sons of Belial.
Christians, male and female, need to change and dress modestly and decently (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-5). They should glorify God with their dress, not seek people’s attention. What is your motive for wearing what you’re wearing? What do you hope to achieve by exposing or displaying parts of your body that should be covered by making your clothes too tight or too short, or wearing clothes sexually revealing or scanty? Even nonbelievers know that wearing such a thing is improper for a Christian. What is your motive for wearing sexually provocative clothes?
Genesis 3:21 says, “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife” (New Living Translation). The reason God did that was to cover their nakedness. So many scriptures, including Psalms 104:2, 6, 109:18-19, and Ezekiel 16:18, indicate that garments are for covering the body.
Fashion must never be promoted above the primary purpose of clothing – covering nakedness. One of the marks of insanity is the desire to remove clothes and go naked! Luke 8:27a says of the madman of Gadarenes, “And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes” (New King James Version). It’s abnormal for someone with a sound mind to prefer to go naked publicly.
If you have a sound mind, you won’t dress or walk in certain ways; you won’t have a certain haircut just because you have seen it on some celebrities whose lives are in crises unknown to you. The Bible calls all New Testament believers kings and priests. “And [He] has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:6 New King James Version).
Kings and priests don’t dress anyhow – they dress for dignity and honour; they are clothed with glory and honour. This is not for pastors alone. God expects His children as priests, like Aaron, to dress not for fashion but for glory and beauty. “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2 New King James Version). Note that the holy garment was for glory and beauty. The New International Version uses the phrase “dignity and honour.”
Wear holy garments. Avoid indecent styles. Don’t dress seductively. Don’t dress like a prostitute. Don’t dress like a social miscreant or gangster; dress for glory and beauty, and dignity and honour.
According to 2 Corinthians 5:20, Christians are ambassadors for Christ. Have you seen how those in diplomatic service for their nations dress? Do ambassadors dress indecently or immodestly? They don’t dress like prostitutes, criminals, or thugs. They dress responsibly! Christians, who are conscious they represent God, the highest authority in heaven and on earth, will dress decently. No Christian should use his freedom or liberty to cause another to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:9).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank you for making me an ambassador for Christ. In my conduct and dressing, I will not disgrace Christ. I will not dress indecently. I will dress for glory and beauty, and dignity and honour.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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