Modesty can mean many things: consideration for the way we dress, humility in our actions, reserve in our spending habits. However, the focus here is modesty in our lifestyle. Here are 10 verses that teach us to live modest lives filled with the Spirit of God.
#1 Modesty in Our Lifestyle Is a Sign of God’s Work
2 Corinthians 1:12 says, “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.”
Simplicity and sincerity here function as synonyms for modesty. When we live our lives according to the leading of the Spirit of God, following our conscience in how we obey His commands, we can boast in how God is able to work through us. This modesty will shine outward to believers and non-believers alike as a sign of God’s presence in the world as we seek to build His kingdom.
#2 Modesty Focuses on the Things of God First
Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This verse is typically cited when considering our financial treasures, but it is equally applicable when we consider our lifestyle. What we spend our money on is usually a good indicator of our priorities, but how we spend our time can be an equally good barometer. When we seek to live a life uncluttered by the cares of the world and instead focus on God’s will for us, it shows that we treasure Christ above everything else.
#3 God Promises to Cover Our Basic Needs
1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
God will always ensure that we are cared for in this life. This does not always mean that we will have excess and abundance, but if our basic needs are covered by God’s provision, we should live godly lives content with how He has blessed us. This avoids the pitfalls of selfishness and greed, which do not line up with God’s heart.
#4 We Set Our Minds on the Spirit of God
Romans 8:5-6 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
When our only goal is to get things for ourselves and show off our lavish lifestyles, we are focusing on things that will not last. Leading a simple life as it relates to our possessions and cares ensures that we free up our hearts to focus on God as our first priority.
#5 Modesty Does Not Seek the Spotlight
1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.”
Paul teaches us here that, if we have a job or livelihood that provides for our needs, we should work diligently without showing off to provide for ourselves and those we care for. This involves refraining from boastful confrontation and taking public pride in what we have.
#6 Possessions Are Not the Meaning of Life
Luke 12:15 says, “And He said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”
Coveting means desiring what someone else has, or being jealous that they have it instead of you. This does not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We should instead not focus on how much “stuff” we have, but remember that our names are written in the Book of Life, and take joy in that above all else.
#7 Modesty Redirects Our Thoughts
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
When we look at the many facets of God’s heart, we will quickly discover that other cares and concerns have no place in our hearts. Directing our lives to love our neighbor as ourselves and developing a heart of true worship is always the best way to lead a modest life with Christ-like humility.
#8 Loving the World Goes Against the Love of God
1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
The world will not last; therefore, choosing to seek worldly gain is a futile endeavor. When we live a modest life that instead focuses on God, we lay up treasures in heaven, and ensure that we have prioritized what truly matters for eternity.
#9 God Will Neither Give Us Too Much or Too Little If We Seek Him First
Proverbs 30:8-9 says, “Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the Name of my God.”
These proverbs warn against great excess or great poverty. While both conditions may be out of our hands, the intent behind these words is to remain content with the provision God gives us. We should not be greedy and think we deserve more based on our own merit, or boast in our riches instead of in God.
#10 A Modest Life Makes Heaven Its First Priority
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This is the way to truly live a modest life in the sense we have described: to direct all of our effort and attention to the kingdom of God. He will then bless us with everything we need in this life, as well as eternal life in the next.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.