This morning I preached from Philippians 4:8-9. Paul writes, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
As I preached, I emphasized the importance of God's children thinking in a manner that honors Him. Paul commands us to meditate (and go on meditating) upon whatever has the positive characteristics mentioned above. Meditation requires time, effort, patience, and determination.
This morning, as I studied the passage prior to the worship service, I felt led by the Lord to discuss the issue of modesty. In most churches these days, the lack of modesty is a significant problem. Some women choose to not wear enough, and many of the men appear to approve of this. I waded into this topic with more than a bit of fear and trepidation.
As I was speaking, I talked about the need for men to think only about what honors God. I didn't mention the issue of lust in particular, but we all knew what I was discussing (this is also an issue for women, but to a lesser degree). After talking to the men, I asked the women to help us men by dressing modestly. I specifically asked the ladies that if they are unsure if an outfit is modest, then they should not wear it.
While all this was going on, something very interesting happened. I could tell that the church was listening because the sanctuary went dead quiet. There was absolutely no sound other than the air conditioning. During most sermons, there is always a little noise such as papers being folded, people moving in their seats, or quiet whispers. As I discussed modesty, there was none of that. Interestingly, it was silent even though I didn't ask for this response in any way. I didn't change my vocal pitch, tone, or volume. It was the subject that grabbed them.
I'm not sure whether or not the people approved of what I was saying, but I know they heard me. I'm interested to see whether or not any behavior change occurs. I pray that the Holy Spirit will make this happen.