I am immensely pleased to present our second guest article. As I mentioned in The Modesty Question, Phoebe was the one who launched my initial investigation into modesty. Shortly before I published my article, I asked Phoebe of she would be interested in writing a follow-up from the feminine perspective. The article she cooked up was much different than what I had expected. She took a refreshingly original approach to modesty. You can learn more about Phoebe on the Guest Contributors page. Without further adieu, please enjoy The Immodesty Problem.
The Immodesty Problem – where it comes from, where it goes
A decent while ago (because I’m an expert in the art of procrastination) my good friend, James Ware, asked if I’d be interested in writing a response to his intriguing blog post, “The Modesty Question.” Being that I was on the other end of the conversation which inspired said post--and that I am hopelessly opinionated--I eagerly agreed… and then put off the task for nearly three months. However, the sparkly fairy of anti-procrastination remedies has smacked me soundly and here I sit, ready to shock and amaze you all with my oh-so-impressive perspective.If you’re reading this then I hope you’ve already read James Ware’s “The ModestyQuestion.”
Okay, well do that first.
Splendid! Since James already defined “modesty” quite well, I’m going to zoom into one part of his post and give my own opinion as to where immodesty comes from and why it is less valuable than modesty.
Let’s think back to James’ analysis where he broke down the different facets of the definition of “modesty.” The part which caught my attention the most was the strong connection between these two phrases:
“Modesty… [is] assuming less unto oneself than others are willing to yield and conceding to others all due honor and respect, or even more than they expect or require.” (emphasis added)
Now, it is no secret that these two go hand-in-hand. As James aptly pointed out, “modesty means humble.” The greatest definition of humility I’ve ever heard came from the well-known British author, C.S. Lewis:
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
This matches up with Webster’s definition of modesty very well. To emphasize this, I will quickly give my own interpretation of the excerpt provided above.
“…assuming less unto oneself than others are willing to yield…”
As a girl, I know what it is like to crave credit, attention and appreciation. I’m sure guys feel this way as well but, let me tell you, girls will go to ridiculous lengths to get it. I won’t humiliate my fellow-females with specifics but suffice it to say that the crazy things we do for attention (no, I’m not just talking about how we sometimes dress) are the opposite of what this excerpt encourages. We ought not to seek out attention and appreciation, even where it is due. The Bible says, in Proverbs 27:2
“Let another man raise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips." (KJV)