Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph .... and he shaved himself, and changed his
raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. Gen. 41:14
Whether we want to admit it or not, the way we dress says something about us to others
with whom we come in contact. Joseph's clean face and clean clothes were not only a
reflection on Joseph himself, but were also an indication of his respect for Pharaoh.
This is often shown when an individual goes for an interview for employment. A mature
individual does not show up in worn out blue jeans, looking like he just crawled out of
bed. The mature applicant knows the way he dresses is a reflection of his personal
character and of his respect for the firm.
Strangely, professing Christians who would never think of going for such an interview
in worn out blue jeans, shorts, or tank tops, do exactly that when they come to the
assembly gatherings. Mini-skirts, tight fitting clothes which highlight the anatomy, old
blue jeans, shorts, etc., are not uncommon. Brothers and sisters, these things should not
be true of mature Christians. These are clear indications of our casualness towards the
things of the Lord.
No doubt some will cry, "Legalism," but the Scripture is clear that our dress
is to be modest. (1 Tim. 2:9) The word used for "modest" in this reference is
the same word translated "of good behavior" when speaking of the qualifications
of an elder. (1 Tim. 3:2) It means "well arranged" and comes from the Greek
word, komos, which is translated "world." Certainly God's creation is "well
arranged," or "orderly."
Perhaps a belief that it is only the inner man, or the heart that is important - and it
is true that God does not look upon the outward appearance, as man does, but upon the
heart (1 Sam. 16:7) - has led to a belief that the external has no importance whatsoever.
However, the truth is that which is in the heart comes to the surface. (Matt. 7:21) Thus
the external is often a clear reflection of what is in the heart. This is evident when the
instructions to sisters concerning what, and what not to wear is followed by the
statement, "which becometh women professing godliness." (1 Tim. 2:9-10) In other
words, their external appearance was to be in keeping with their profession! Others would
read the heart through their external actions, which included among other things, their
dress! (This can also be seen in 1 Peter 3:1-6.)
When it is so evident to us in the natural world, why is it so difficult to grasp in
the spiritual world. Our dress is a reflection of what we think of the Lord, what we think
of the Word of God, what we think of the assembly, what we think of the pulpit, and what
we think of others.
There is no excuse for brothers and sisters in the Lord dressing immodestly. Clothing
that is revealing and suggestive should have no part among the saints. Such clothing can
be a stumbling block to the weak, and a distraction to others. It is not becoming to those
who profess godliness. Neither should we dress as if the gathering of the assembly is
nothing more than a ball game or a picnic. Sadly, many see this casualness as an
advancement, a liberation from meaningless tradition. A comparison of the spiritual
condition of the church today and the church fifty years ago would indicate differently.
(Rev. 3:18) It would indicate that so called tradition was in reality