Updated: Sep 5, 2019
When we think of modesty, most of the time we think about apparel and clothing. The Bible touches on modest apparel very lightly, namely in 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3: 3-4. Modesty is not just about fashion. The word itself has more than one definition with apparel being defined last.
It appears that modesty begins inwardly before it is displayed outwardly. For example, when a woman receives salvation, dressing modest is not the first thing she will do. First, she will receive the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who then helps her become sanctified and modest or humble in her heart. Let's take a look at the 3 definitions that will reveal 3 ways that we can be modest that don't involve our clothes.
Unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities or achievements (humble)
There is a scripture directly related to this definition of modest.
"Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. ' Romans 12:3 NLT
Be honest and humble about your credentials, your achievements, your abilities...because it was all given to you by God and we are not independent of anyone. Humility is a daily practice because in our humanity, we want to have control and take credit for the good we do. Maybe you did do a lot to get where you are, and that's all by God's grace and plan that He has for you.
I also like the scripture that says, "be content with second place..." - Colossians 3:12 MSG
It's not always about us and being in first place. And boy do us women love to have the last say 😅
2. (of an amount, level, rate) moderate, limited, small
This definition is more about quantity than quality. Do you ever overeat? Or overspend on beauty products? Snacks has always been a weakness of mine and in the past I would often over consume, which led to some unhealthy weight gain. The Bible says,
'For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And the drowsiness [of overindulgence] will clothe one with rags.' - PROVERBS 23:21 AMP
Even doing too much of a good thing can harm us. Eat snacks, buy some new beauty products, and clothes...but we don't have to allow these things to master us and cause us to be addicted. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 6:12, "-- I have the right to do anything but I will not be mastered by anything."
This definition also reminds me of temperance, which is a fruit of the Spirit. It means to be moderate and self-restraining. If there is anything that you are struggling with and it seems to master you, you can always pray and ask God to help you develop temperance in all things. Anything that masters us in this world will become an idol. So let's enjoy life in moderation and practice self-control.
3. (of a place in which one lives, eats, or stays) not excessively large, elaborate, or expensive
This definition is actually a sub-definition of #2, the real third definition of modesty is about our clothes. But we are not discussing fashion right now 💃 The third way that we can be modest is to not overdo it.
Being modest means not being "extra".
The Bible tells us that, "life does not consist in the abundance of things." - Luke 12:15
We want it all! And some of us have it all, but this is not the goal. This definition correlates with what 1 Peter 3: 3-4 says about not adorning ourselves in super elaborate and shiny things. It is very rare that on our deathbeds we ask to see all of our accolades and possessions. There is more to life than what we've accumulated, but what did we accomplish with the gifts God has given us? How did we love others?
Living modestly also does well to prevent envy and competition among women. The world system is to live superficial, surface-level, big and rich lives. The more we keep up with the Kardashians, the more we just want more and compare ourselves to the next person. Even women who are considered the "baddest on the planet" are still trying to be "badder", it just never ends. If we lived sober and honestly, we would have more peace and contentment with all that God has blessed us with, even the beauty given to us at birth.
I want to take time to say thank you for reading this, I hope you've gotten something out of it. All of us must remember that life is much more than the surface. The Modest Movement Ministry is not here to be the "fashion police", though Christian women should present themselves with all purity, but it starts with a pure heart towards God and then towards others.
Did you get anything out of this? Comment below or on social media!