Lust is more than looking. It is different from feeling attraction or involuntary sexual arousal. Lust entails seeing another’s body as an object for self-gratification. It defines the person not as a human, created in the image of God, but as a means of carnal pleasure. We get it wrong when limiting our discussions of modesty to sexuality. Shechem’s lust led him to sexually assault Dinah in Genesis 34. Scholar and pastor Ron Clark explains, “Shechem has violated the rights of Dinah as well as the covenant with the Jacobites.” Clearly men do not rape women because of how they dress. “But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15). True modesty comes from dressing in the spirit of Jesus. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:1-10). The apostle Paul offers an elegant solution to immodesty—being clothed in good deeds. Rather than selling out to worldly values, we are to aspire to God’s values. All men and women are to seek knowledge, belief and practices of God’s Realm, peace, unity and continuing growth in wisdom (1 Timothy 2:3).As for whether or not we should wear yoga pants, tight jeans, or certain swimsuits, I believe Jesus would instruct that sometimes, yes—depending on humility, appropriateness and devotion to God— and sometimes no—depending on humility, appropriateness and devotion to God. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). Amy R. Buckley


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