I’ve been doing some reading about modesty, after yesterday’s little rant. I wanted to organize the thought a little.
So…what is modesty? Looking to the dictionary, it is most often rendered as humility, shyness, or simplicity. These are all Christian traits, yet in today’s world, they can be looked upon as weaknesses. And yet, we can see that Christ embodied those traits, and was not to be considered weak.
So let’s consider humility. There is such a thing as false humility, but for brevity, let’s just say that a humble person is one who is comfortable just being who they are, and not trying to call attention to themselves. They may be very good at something or another, yet not have a need to call attention to it.
One who lives and behaves in simplicity quietly performs daily tasks and routines without the trumpet blown before. There is no need to call attention. Modesty acts gently, but with no less perfection or care as one who may constantly announce their deeds.
We can see how this applies in the way we dress. Does your navel show, or your bra strap? Men, do your jeans ride so low as to show your underpants or skin? I wrote yesterday about dressing appropriately for the venue-church, beach, meeting family, work…
We can also display modesty in life. Quietness, humility, and simplicity are values to be grasped and sought after. The Bible even talks about this. Colossians 3:12 says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
If we recognize our Father in heaven as the source of all our gifts, we can go a long way toward being modest in life. Knowing that we can do nothing without God gets us some of the way there.
Towards each other we show our modesty by honoring others before ourselves. Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.” We must be confident that our own abilities will open any necessary door for us and so quietly, give ourselves to the pursuit of excellence. Christians are representatives for Christ wherever they go, in whatever they do. Having the attitude that when we excel we glorify God who gave us our ability, we’re on the right track.
Today’s world is not very much about modesty in all the traits we’ve discussed. Recognition, being better than others and letting them know it, driving with the middle finger hanging out the window, demanding our way. Instead, let your actions and your very being speak for themselves. Certainly, it is always nice to get complimented. But let’s not make it our purpose for doing things. Don’t dress to call attention to yourself. Someone who is truly beautiful all the way through could wear a burlap sack and still radiate beauty. Don’t try to be first all the time. Be a polite driver. Live the Golden Rule.
God bless you.