Recently, a certain bible verse caught my attention, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Cor 6:19). After these words repeated in my head throughout the week, I started to ponder on the real meaning behind them. Before long, a question arose in my mind. Do I really know that my body is a dwelling place for the Spirit of God? All this time, my attention and efforts were focused towards the outward appearance, and what is important was forgotten. It’s easy for us to let the world get the upper hand, since it constantly sways us to adorn ourselves to impress others. This is where we need the virtue of modesty. Modesty gives glory to God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. If so, what does it require of us? Let’s think beyond simply dressing properly, to St. John’s saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). God’s Spirit dwells in us! Let this thought inspire us to live with modesty every day.

Shilpa Shaurya Michael, Brisbane, Australia

Modesty sounds like an out dated word in the modern world, where the majority of men and women are keen in putting their best appearance, in a “look at me” style.  There are times when I was ridiculed for not being modern and was asked “why can’t you wear ‘those’ kind of dresses’, and “it will look nice on you”. Often times we make justifications that everyone does it, so why can’t I do it? The answer is simple; “Is this what our creator wants from us?” I have told people when I have encountered such questions, “I find myself uncomfortable unveiling what is supposed to be veiled, (CCC 2521) in front of others who don’t need to see it”. I chuckled when my 6-year-old told his teenage sister “Sister, you can’t wear that dress, it is ‘showing’. I hope and pray that our children understand the value of their bodies, and be convinced that their beauty is not merely their appearance, but their whole self and people should be able to look at their eyes to see the love of God and their confidence, rather than looking at their body parts.

Sujatha Joseph, Dallas, USA

I have found that ‘modesty’ often comes across as daunting. We as young people struggle to understand its relevance in today’s culture because the world constantly tells us that modesty is outdated or even unnecessary. As a woman, I find that I am most in control of my choices when I am at peace with who I am. Since I began focusing on my identity as an incredibly loved daughter of God, I have found myself becoming more comfortable in my own skin. Consequently it really doesn’t matter anymore if I have the newest shoes or the smartest phones. I realised that stocking up on all of these was essentially just a façade to hide my insecurities and pretend that I had it all good! I love shopping and dressing well, but now it is much less about what others consider latest trends and more about whether I am presenting myself the way God intended me to be. Modesty is not about covering yourself from head to toe but about portraying yourself in a manner that respects the dignity of yourself and the people around you.

Tanya Jojo, Brisbane, Australia

If you hear the word “Modesty” and you are uncomfortable, then its most likely because you’ve come to believe that modesty dictates what one should wear and shouldn’t wear. But for me, modesty is knowing my self-worth, it’s about the realisation that I am an intricately and beautifully crafted child of a loving God and so conducting myself in that manner. I am much more than the body I carry and the clothes I wear, I am an individual who has been created for a purpose. It’s about understanding that I deserve to be honoured, that I respect myself and seek for others to respect me.  But most importantly, for me, modesty is loving myself, and I am able to do so when I realise that I do not need the attention or approval of others to feel validated.Because I, in the wholeness that God created me to be, am enough.

Judy James, Birmingham, UK