Immodesty was a big struggle to me. I thought it was something I’d be compromising for the rest of my life due to career choices. My biggest dreams when I was about a decade younger were either to be a supermodel or a beauty queen (me & my worldly perspective, of course). My character was set to the industry’s culture, to wear underwear in front of anyone, pose in bikinis, look fierce in photoshoots, casually seduce the camera and have my sensual photos all over social media, print ads, etc.
Since I became a Christian, I began praying for God to make me dress modestly. It was *gasps* tough. I remember cutting all my bikinis into tinier pieces years ago and throwing ‘em all to make sure nobody uses it so I don’t make anyone stumble. Just a year ago, I’d say no to projects that would require me to be in bikinis. I’d also ask my friends to rebuke me each time I post anything disturbing on social media. It was so hard trying my very best to be modest. Mind you, I had massive relapses. But as usual, Grace came to my rescue.
None of my “good works” and my modesty-styling-skills fully changed me. It’s only Christ who could transform me from the inside out. It says in Galatians 5:16-19: walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, SENSUALITY..” Baaam! As usual, pahiya nanaman ako, I read these verses about 6 months ago at a Bible study with my friends, Marlann and Pamu. That moment, it finally hit me hard, and so I repented.
Right now, slowly but surely, I’m learning, appreciating and I’m fully convinced that my body really is the Holy Spirit’s temple, that I must protect, guard and take care of it not only in its spiritual but physical sense. What helps me fight immodesty is every time I’m about to do/be it, I’d ask myself: what is my motivation for doing it? Why do I want to flaunt my body? Why do I want to post a certain photo? Who gets pleased when I do it? As Christians, we are told not to conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Then we’ll be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Intense. Gamit na gamit sakin ‘tong verse na ‘to.) It’s nice to always be reminded that not all good plans we have leads to the Lord’s pleasing and perfect will for us. If our desire doesn’t please God and doesn’t point us to Christ, it’s pointless. You get my point? 😉
I would call it irresistible grace that God brought me to a place that requires me to dress modestly. What a beautiful irony! Now, I’m learning to understand that my problem was more than just clothing preferences and career choice. The issue of immodesty is in the core, it’s an issue of the heart. It’s my sin in itself. Immodesty brought me to committing more sins in my past. It made me greedy for attention, fed my insecurity, led me to immorality. Indeed, sin begets sin!
But I praise my Lord and Saviour that I’m no longer in that state, that though I chose the immodest path back then, He pulled me out of it. Though I was being tempted by instant gratification and the earthly desires I had, He saved me from it. Immodesty is just one of the many sins Christ saved me from. I’m excited to discover more sins and be delivered from all of them. I’m hopeful that He will constantly sanctify me on this matter.
May our beauty not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, our inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1Peter 3:3-4
“Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:19-20 — Shall we? Leggo!