Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Complete Modesty

mod·est (mdst) KEY ADJECTIVE:

Having or showing a moderate estimation of one's own talents, abilities, and value.

Having or proceeding from a disinclination to call attention to oneself; retiring or diffident. See Synonyms at
shy 1.

Observing conventional proprieties in speech, behavior, or dress.
Free from showiness or ostentation; unpretentious. See Synonyms at

Moderate or limited in size, quantity, or range; not extreme: a modest price; a newspaper with a modest circulation.
- American Heritage Dictionary

True modesty must not be limited to rules or morays regarding dress; it must also encompass our speech, actions, and attitudes. This second part of modesty is much more difficult, but nonetheless important, because it addresses areas of the heart, which are not as easily measured. Even in dressing modestly, it is possible to be immodest if we are smug about it or seek to draw attention to ourselves through our modesty. It is easy enough to set up guidelines for outward appearance, but we must be careful that we are not putting on a "form of godliness" (II Tim. 3:5) rather than the real deal. This inward modesty and godliness is the goal we should point our teens toward. If we are modest on the inside, the outside will naturally reflect that. Not that we should not have these outward guidelines to keep us in check, but rather we should base our guidelines on the virtues and fruit of the Spirit esteemed in God's Word. If we are working on developing a gentle and quiet spirit that encompasses our whole life (or humility, or purity, or ...), that will include our standard of dress and automatically result in a modest appearance.

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