By Dakota Moore
This past weekend I got to visit my roommate for the upcoming school year, and it was the best weekend I’ve had this summer! I have never met someone my age so unapologetically vocal about and visibly in love with the Lord or someone who was a lot like me in habits and mindset. After that weekend, my friend had to call and say the Lord was telling her to speak to me about modesty. As she spoke about what the Lord said in the Word and her quiet time, I knew she was right. My shorts had been too short, and I had thought that very thought before leaving the house. At first, I was like “ehh” inside, like a kind of resistance. However, I had to soften my heart and confess that I do struggle with modesty, and she was right. I had acknowledged that I needed to dress more modestly months ago, but I didn’t have anyone that I had invited into my struggle to keep me accountable. And, quite frankly, I liked dressing how I wanted to.
To be held accountable, you must confess. Tell your Christian community, “Hey, I’m struggling with this sin. The Lord is convicting me, and I’m going to stop, but I need your help.” The community then prays for you and encourages you. When they see you tempted and struggling, they can say, “hey, the Lord expects more of you and wants more for you.” It comes from a place of love and doesn’t allow you to make excuses and fall back into sin. Ecclesiastes 4:12b says, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (NKJV). We are made for community: humanity wasn’t complete until Adam was given Eve (Genesis 2:18-25). Thus, the Lord gave us confession as one of the means to combat our sinful nature, knowing our communal nature. Confession allows for darkness to be brought to light. This involves acknowledging it, asking God’s forgiveness, turning away from doing it again, and asking other Christians for accountability. When sin comes to light, you receive forgiveness, and the lies of shame and unworthiness cannot bind you or prevent your joy in the Lord. You are free.
People struggle with a sinful nature, and desires are deceptive. Christians want to walk by the Holy Spirit, but our flesh, our sinful nature will incline us to do wrong (Romans 7:15-19). The flesh and our renewed spirit are constantly warring (Galatians 5:16-17). We will have the wrong desires and then satisfy them, if we are not armored up (Ephesians 6:10-13). For example, my mom had mentioned my modesty to me, too. But, I allowed myself to make excuses and permitted my desires to deceive me. I would think, “they are perfectly good clothing that I spent a lot of money on, and they are really cute. I’m not trying to attract attention.” I wanted to be more pleasing to the Lord, but since I was not vigilant, I was allowing my flesh to win. I needed those around me to correct and hold me accountable (Proverbs 9:8-9).
Confession causes us to acknowledge our sin; it does not cause shame. Sin causes shame, and Christ removes that with His one-time sacrifice for our sins. He forgives, calling us to liberty from that sin (Galatians 5:13-14) and giving the Holy Spirit to help us. When we confess, God smiles on us, and we can better see that sin will not crush us. Therefore, we can overcome it with the help of our Christian community, our our brothers and sisters in Christ. I knew the Lord was speaking through my friend and my mom. I had known for a while that I needed to do better with modesty. I would avoid certain clothes in my closet for a while but then start wearing them again when my resolve faded. When my friend confronted me, and I acknowledged it, it helped me to let go of the clothing that was bringing people’s attention to my body more than to Christ in me. Sometimes people will confront you about your sin, and sometimes you will have to take more initiative in confessing to your friends and asking for help. Either way, it will enrich your Christian walk, helping you to become more like Christ and thus have more joy.
Verses To Dwell On
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,”
Colossians 3:9-10 NKJV
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. […] Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
James 5:16,19-20 NKJV
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. […] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”
Psalms 51:10-12,17 NKJV