(Photo courtesy of http://thestir.cafemom.com/)
Where is Modesty Today?
By Melissa Jara
Modesty: what is it really? I looked up different definitions, and most define it as “pure and moderate.” Others say it is a person who is successful but does not call attention to this. The one that I liked said “having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of merits.” In the biblical text it is used in Greek: Ko-smē-os, which also means well arranged, seemly modest, orderly decorous or of good behavior.
Growing up, I never knew what modesty was and definitely did not know what it looked like. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what I had seen in my growing years of life. Almost every weekend my mom and her friends would go out at least once a week; I never knew where to until I got a little older. So there I was in the middle of it all and being the oldest watching my mom and all her friends getting ready as freestyle music played in the background. I would see them wear mini skirts way above the thighs, with halter-tops barely covering their chests.
I was about 10-years-old. I didn’t dress like that yet, but I remember I would always think they looked ugly. I would get angry that my mom dressed like that. By the time they had finished putting on their makeup and curling their hair they had already drank at least two beers and their night hadn’t even started yet. They did this before going clubbing, or to other events. In all this I thought they looked pretty trashy but were trying to be cute.
Flash forward to when I was older. I dressed pretty provocatively just with a more up-to-date look. I dressed like this to feel sexy. I know now that feeling sexy comes from being with your husband and it’s supposed to be saved for marriage, but I wore the miniskirt, 5-inch stilettos, halter-top and jewelry.
I was a replica of my mother. Her image flashed before my eyes one night as I looked into a full-length mirror before I went out. I also thought of my mom’s trashy posse. Most of the time I found myself acting the same way I dressed.
There is so much hype with celebrities today, and the way they dress or look. I don’t know why they are influential. Many celebrities I have met are so empty. They look good on the outside but there is no life in them. I also see lots of competition. People are trying to be different or flashy when really we shouldn’t need to compete. The truth is that we are all different. We were born with our own set of fingerprints; not one person in the world has the same as the other.
I know having your own style is an important part of being a human being, but let’s be mindful of what we wear and how we act. How we act is what shines and shows the hidden beauty of the heart.
I had a very distorted way of growing up and I was ignorant about a lot of things especially of who God is and how precious I am, and valued, in His eyes. Now I am convicted that if I can’t wear it at church I simply won’t buy it.
Let’s not judge those who are ignorant or don’t know how precious they really are. Rather, let’s love on them and show them the grace of God even when they are dressed provocatively.
Jesus was the greatest example of modesty. There is this song I love and some of the lyrics say: “Show me how to love like you have loved me.” For those Christians who read this it’s an encouragement to not only dress but also act modestly. For those who are not Christians, Jesus loves you the way you are and desires to show you great and awesome things like He is doing for me.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, “…that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or costly clothing but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” In context it is written to the Christian church, but remember God is not against fashion. He is against you worshipping it and going out of your way to impress other people. It’s a heart thing. Check yourself.