More and more often I see a problem with Christian young people (and older folks too!) I've probably already posted on this before, but with some recent things that have affected me personally, I see the need to talk about it again.
Sometimes it seems there are two groups of Christians. There are those who dress very conservatively, and those who dress less so. For clarity I'm going to use the term "modest" for one group, and "not-so-modest" for the other, meaning nothing in particular, but to keep my thoughts straight.
These two groups are constantly in a silent, (and sometimes less than silent) battle.
Of course, I know there can be exceptions. Some girls may not take "modesty" to the extent of the more conservative people, and vice versa.
And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. Modesty cannot be defined by any one person or opinion. If we base modesty on opinion alone, then we are drifting into our own mindset, our own decisions, and that is not where we need to be.
The two groups of modest, and not-so-modest people both have a problem.
The modest look at the not-so-modest, and immediately seem to judge. "Look at them! They aren't representing Christ very well. We're sooo much more holy then them. They're liberal. They really need to pray about that." (Of course, these may not be the precise words used.)
The not-so-modest may look at the modest and... "They think they're so holy. I'm tired of all their 'holier then thou' looks they keep sending over here. They're trying to dress like that just to make themselves seem better then us."
Etc. Etc. Etc.
It goes on and on. I'm telling you. Sometimes neither of these groups seem to understand the one simple little fact that should change their whole viewpoint on everything.
Yes, modestly is so, so important. But opinions on modesty can be different. It is not our job to dictate modesty to another person. That is one of the things that falls to God. And God may use an older woman to explain some things to others.
But maybe you're a not-so-modest person. Maybe you wear jeans instead of skirts, and think you aren't being treated right for it. Maybe you aren't sure if you should change how you dress. I'm not saying being not-so-modest in this sense is wrong. Because here's another important thing. God will show you the answer.
Strange as it may seem, modesty isn't always the same for each individual person. Modesty is something that must be cleansed in the heart before it can make it's way to the outward appearance. Because if a person's heart isn't modest, even if they dress with every inch of their body covered, their immodesty will eventually show.
. I'm not saying if you feel like it's okay to go running around town with nothing on. God always wants us to have a certain standard of modesty. To understand God's standard we need to be in constant prayer, asking Him to show us His plan. God knows what is in our heart. And if we wear those cute jeans just because they outline our shape juuuusssttt right... there's a good chance God will convict us about that. I've heard the story many times.
No, I am not the expert on modesty, and I never will be. I'm learning along with everyone else. But I know that this issue is one that God's people must work out before we can be unified.
The modest people need to see... maybe God hasn't spoken to those not-so-modest people yet. Or maybe He doesn't have the same expectation as he has for them.
The not-so-modest people need to know that the modest people have a personal conviction, and this desire to serve the Lord is why they dress the way they do. Or at least it should be.
Instead of constantly judging those around us, making the gap grow wider between our brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to pray for others, and desire God's will. Because in God's plan, all will be revealed.
If we trust God, He will show us the way.