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Bethany is a member of Bethel Protestant Reformed Church in Schaumburg, Illinois. She wrote this paper for a school assignment at Schaumburg Christian School.

Magazines capitalize on immodesty to increase their subscriptions. Television networks uncover the body to boost their ratings. Advertisers use it to sell their products. Not only has the body become a tool of the world, but it has also become its idol. As Christians, we are not to be conformed to the world, but in the area of modesty, we have been tainted by the wor1d’s influence.

The American College Dictionary defines modesty as “freedom from boastfulness, free of egotism, free of ostentation,” and “regard for decency of behavior, speech, and dress.” The Bible defines modesty as “the adornment of a meek and humble spirit” (I Peter 3:4). This is an area that needs to be addressed by Christians. Though all of us agree that the world has overstepped the boundaries of modesty, where do we set our own limits?

Since modesty is almost always associated with clothing, the Christian must regard the appearance as a special responsibility. Clothing was originally made to cover the body. The world now uses clothing, or the lack of it, to draw attention to the body. We must thoughtfully consider why we dress as we do. Being stylish is not wrong as long as we do not use “style” as a license to dress immodestly. Amy Vanderbilt in her book of etiquette says that “style is a question of character as well as external characteristics.” What does our clothing say about our character? Sometimes even Christian parents permit, or even encourage their daughters to wear what at one time was worn only by women of disrepute. They want their daughters to be noticed. Where do young women set their boundaries? Each may differ slightly, but we must listen to our consciences and to God’s Word. The Bible admonishes women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel,” in that “which becometh women professing godliness.”

But clothing is just one aspect of modesty. Modesty is more than apparel. It is also “decency of behavior and speech.” Immodesty is much more than short skirts and low cut dresses. We can also be immodest in our actions, which are often the expression of our pride and egotism, not our humility and modesty. We use our worldly possessions to aid us in immodesty. By flaunting our homes, our cars, our diamonds, our clothing, we add to our self-esteem by making others envious. Our talents and skills are used in the service of self. Whether it be an ability to shoot a basket, ride a motorcycle, or “ace” a test, if we use it to steal attention, it is a sin. Of all the words that we speak in one day, how many are about our feelings, our problems our ideas, our abilities our experiences, our accomplishments, and our opinions. So often our words are not about the God we serve or the friends we don’t deserve, but about the most important person to us—ourselves. Not only must we consider who we talk about, but how. So many of our words today are loud and shameless. Even dominating a conversation is a subtle form of immodesty.

Both our apparel and our actions express our attitude. Even among Christians, a modest view of life is not very popular. We dress up the sin of pride in the word self-esteem and allow ourselves to do or say anything that puts us in the center of attention. Instead of “esteeming others better than ourselves” we want the world to revolve around us.

Some of the most shameless displays of immodesty can be found on television talk shows. Speaking of them, Chicago Tribune columnist Leonard Pitts says, “Even if you can’t sing or tell a joke, you can still be famous, still have that 15 minutes. You just have to be willing to strip yourself naked: physically emotionally, spiritually—for the amusement of watching eyes…you wonder if they realize that 15 minutes is a very short span of time.” What are the reasons that we ought to be humble? The brevity of life can give us a perspective of our real importance. The Bible says that “all flesh is as grass…the grass withereth and the flower fadeth, but the word of the Lord endureth forever.” We are also to have the proper self-esteem. “In lowliest of mind let each esteem the other better than himself” (Phil. 2:3). This realization will become evident in our actions. The Bible speaks of the vanity of life, that pride goeth before destruction. Pride is condemned. Humility is praised. We see the greatest example of humility in Jesus Christ who subjected Himself to the death of the cross. When we see our unworthiness before a perfect God, we will become modest.

As we look around we observe the butterfly. It is one of the most beautiful insects. The Greeks believed that the soul left the body in the form of a butterfly. This is not true.

The butterfly is a picture of the resurrection. When the caterpillar goes into the cocoon a mir­acle happens! The ugly caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar in the cocoon is a picture of Jesus in the grave. The grave opened and Jesus came out wonderfully trans­formed.

If you hold the butterfly tightly the scales will come off and it will not be able to fly. It will prob­ably die. I know that because my friend did that.

There are all kinds of different butterflies. And they are all beautiful. These are some of them: the Swallow-Tail, the Monarch, and the Painted Lady butterfly.

Are not these wonderful creatures of God?

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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