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What is Modesty?

There are a few basic definitions of Modesty:

  • the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities [Merriam Webster]
  • propriety in dress, speech, or conduct [Merriam Webster]; dress and behaviour that is intended to avoid causing sexual feelings in other people. [Collins Dictionary];
  • lack of excesses or pretensions; moderation [Collins Dictionary]

A Heart Issue

Each of these definitions shows that modesty is fundamentally a heart issue, meaning it has to do with one`s attitude, thoughts, ideas, intentions, and perspective (let`s call them our “Thoughts”). Our Thoughts are largely shaped by our culture, experience, education, family background, values, relationships and more.

Modesty Is Unto The Lord

For a disciple of Jesus Christ, any desire or ambition to be modest should be unto Jesus. He is Lord, God and Saviour. Moreover, He wants a personal relationship with us. It follows, then, that Jesus Himself is our main guide not only for modesty, but for all Christian living issues. He has innumerable ways to guide us as we will see and explore, including church teachings, media messages, relationships and more. However, it is critical that we be an actual disciple of Jesus Christ—a follower, a student–one who seeks, knocks and asks of the Lord (Matthew7:7-8) with sincerity and desire–not just to learn, but to please Him.

Your Thoughts Are Important

Jesus wants to teach and fellowship with us more than we can imagine. He is not only concerned about our Thoughts but He desires to shape them and it is He, that will ultimately judge them. We know this because biblical scripture contains numerous admonishments about our thought life. Consider the following scriptures [this list is far from exhaustive]:

  • This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. [Joshua 1:8]
  • Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; [1 Peter 1:13]
  • Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [Matthew 22:37]
  • I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. [Romans 7:25]
  • Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: [Acts 20:19]
  • Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

Scripture demonstrates the critical importance of our mind in serving God because He knows that we are the sum of our thoughts–if He has your mind, He has you! In essence, true modesty requires a converted heart [Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 2:29], a transformed mind [Romans 12:2] and submission to the leading of the Spirit [Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthian 6:19].


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