A Return to Modesty
It’s always great to hear about someone making a turn toward Christ. Recently, Victoria’s Secret model, Kylie Bisutti, gave up a lucrative career modeling lingerie because of her deepening conviction. In leaving modeling, Bisutti has modeled for all of us one of the most important aspects of authentic faith in Christ: repentance.
Bisutti told reporters,
But the more I was modeling lingerie — and lingerie isn’t clothing — I just started becoming more uncomfortable with it because of my faith. I’m Christian, and reading the Bible more, I was becoming more convicted about it.
Kylie’s experience should be universal to all true followers of Christ. When we trust Christ for salvation, our faith results in real changes in our lives. While that change may not always be instantaneous, our lives should demonstrate steady growth in our obedience to Christ. The Bible calls that change in behavioral trajectory — from disobedience to obedience — repentance.
Too many of us don’t expect our faith to really change our behaviors. But this was always the expectation in the Bible. John the Baptist came preaching and baptizing people for repentance from sins in preparation for Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew 3:1-2). Jesus himself began His ministry saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Later, Jesus’ disciples would consistently call people to repentance as part of coming to saving faith.
Paul once testified, “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:19-20). He would later write to the church in Rome, “God’s mercy is meant to lead us to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
Today, when many talk about the moment they started following Christ, they’ll often say, “I got saved,” “I trusted in Christ,” “I prayed the sinner’s prayer,” or “I put my faith in Jesus.” But they rarely talk about the repentance that should always enjoin salvation.
Now, I’m not saying that we are saved by our works, but I am saying that saving faith will always include a turn from sin. We should all experience times when we turn from sin and toward righteousness. When Christ returns and judges our lives, He will look at what we did as evidence of true, saving faith (Matthew 16:27). This is why James wrote that faith without works is dead (2:17).
So I praise God when I hear about brothers and sisters working out their faith. Kylie Bisutti had a lot to lose: money, fame and even comfort. And yet she chose to follow Christ: “I have decided not to model lingerie because I personally feel that I am not honoring God…” Well done, Kylie. Well done in turning your life over to Christ. Well done in reading God’s Word. Well done in obeying God’s Word. Your act of repentance is an example for us all.
About the Author
Andrew Hess is the senior editor of ChurchLeaders.com at Outreach Media Group. He teaches Bible and Psychology classes at Colorado Christian University and is a graduate of Denver Seminary. His writing has been featured on The Gospel Coalition, Leadership Journal and Boundless. When not working, Andrew is usually enjoying scenic Colorado, teaching Sunday school, or buying a priceless antique at a local garage sale.