Then, too, we will not estrange our acquaintances, arousing envy, rivalry or the spirit of trying to keep up with the Joneses by word or action. Rather, we will be modest in the clothes we wear, in the auto we drive and in the home we occupy. We will not call attention to our accomplishments, be they in business, sports, in the arts or in the Christian ministry. As the proverbs remind us: “For people to search out their own glory, is it glory?” “May a stranger, and not your own mouth, praise you; may a foreigner, and not your own lips, do so.” The modest person does not blow a trumpet to call attention to his good works but will keep his right hand from knowing what his left hand is doing.—Prov. 25:27; 27:2; Matt. 6:1-6.
We may even pacify ambitious rivals by going out of our way to manifest modesty. That is what Gideon did, when the Ephraimites “vehemently tried to pick a quarrel with him.” He smoothed down their ruffled feathers by saying: ‘Why, what I did was as nothing in comparison with you. Did not God give into your hands the princes of Midian?’ Gideon’s modesty paid off, for “their spirit calmed down toward him when he spoke this word.”—Judg. 8:1-3.
MODESTY A SAFEGUARD
Modesty is also the course of wisdom in that it acts as a safeguard. For one thing, it helps protect from the snares of the Devil. Had Jesus not been modest he might well have yielded to one of Satan’s temptations. Satan did ensnare many in the post-apostolic Christian congregation because of their lack of modesty.
Modesty also protects from the temptations brought by the world. Neither Gideon nor Jesus allowed the people to make him king. A less modest person would have yielded. Modesty protects one against the world’s “desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life.”—1 John 2:16.
Modesty also protects us from our own weaknesses. It will keep us from being frustrated or disappointed because of aiming too high in our ambitions or goals. The two disciples that asked to be seated at the right and left of Jesus in his kingdom were disappointed and had to be told by Jesus: “You do not know what you are asking for.”—Mark 10:38.
Modesty will keep us from being unduly affected by either public praise or public censure. It will make it easier for children to be submissive to their parents; wives, to their husbands; and members of a congregation to their overseers. Modesty will keep us from boasting about tomorrow. And it will keep us from needless embarrassment, as when we presume to take the most prominent seat at a feast and then have to yield it to one more distinguished than ourselves.—Luke 14:8-10.
Truly “wisdom is with the modest ones” and God’s Word gives us much counsel on modesty. Modesty puts us in line to be used more by our Creator, it makes for better relations with our fellowman, it safeguards us from the temptations by Satan, the world and the flesh and helps us to avoid needless disappointments, frustrations and embarrassments. So make friends with modesty. Clothe yourself with modesty.
Do You Remember?
Have you read the recent issues of The Watchtower carefully? If so, you should recognize these important points. Check yourself.
● Why was Jesus courageous in the face of those who sought his life?
His confidence was in Jehovah God, the Source of life.—P. 6.a
● Is it right to keep on preaching the Bible in a land where the rulers forbid it, perhaps because they have a state church?
Yes. The apostles, faced with such a proscription on the part of Jewish rulers in the first century, said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”—Pp. 13, 14.
● Who benefit from Christ’s ransom now?
All who exercise faith in it. Those of his anointed followers are declared righteous by God, which means that he grants them the right to human life. The “other sheep” too enjoy a righteous standing before God; he forgives their sins, though not granting them the right to life at this time.—Pp. 38, 40.