Friday, June 10, 2011

Using Modesty in Speech

     Modesty was once a virtue. Now it has all but disappeared from society. In the past men and women dressed and carried themselves with modesty and discretion. Boasting, profanity, and gossip are three tools the devil is using to destroy modesty in speech.

     When we talk to others are we always playing up our intelligence, wealth, appearance or accomplishments? Are we building ourselves up and tearing others down? That is immodesty. Paul reminded a warring congregation to pursue love that does not boast (1 Corinthians 13). Modesty, at its core, entails a sense of humility before God. Psalm 146 states: "The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down." The Pharisees boasted and shouted their prayers in public so they could be heard by all and make themselves appear in higher esteem. Yeshua/Jesus, our teacher, has reccommended to us to seek privacy when we pray, in order to promote modesty. When we brag and seek to lift ourselves up to appear in higher esteem to others we have a Pharisaical attitude. We are caring more about what others perceive us as then the instructions of Adonai, our Holy Father.

      A USA Today article stated that the use of “formerly forbidden words” has increased by over 300%, and that now it is not surprising to hear such language come from women, teenagers, business professionals, teachers and young children.A Barna Research survey reveals the use of profanity was deemed morally acceptable by 37% of the churchgoers. It has been said what is tolerated by one generation is acceptable to the next and we see it happen in so many different instances including cursing.  The word “curse” comes from the Greek word “kataroamai” and means “language meant to wish evil or ruin.” Profanity is not ladylike or "Christianlike" in any form or fashion. Men used to be scolded for cursing in front of ladies or children. Now ladies and children curse just as much as men. It has become a popular habit of girls my age to refer to each other in terms that were once considered a serious insult but now they are being worn as badges of honor and used as terms of endearment. Examples, proceed with caution, X,X,X. The Bible says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, -Ephesians 4:29 Paul tells us in Colossians, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” No man can tame the tongue (James 3:8) but we should not have blessing cursing flowing flowing from our mouths (James 3:10). We ought to begin replacing  our useless language with gracious speech.

     "Girl, did you hear Sharon's son got arrested?" "Juliet is dating a man twice her age, how gross!" Gossiping is almost 100% known as a pasttime for women. AN idle mind is the devil's playground and gossip is a product of idleness. Whether at the grocery store, doctor's office, or even a church potluck gossip amongst ladies is rampant. A British study found that the average woman hears three pieces of gossip each week, and will pass it on to at least one other person. According to Scripture we gossip whenever we:
  • Tell a secret (Proverbs 11:13)
  • Talk too much about others (Proverbs 16:28)
  • Use our words to add fuel to a fight (Proverbs 26:20)
  • Discuss topics we shouldn’t (1 Timothy 5:13)
  • Use our words to cause division (Proverbs 16:28).
     Romans 1:29-30 says, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

     Gossip is listed as a serious offense in this passage in Romans. It matters to our Heavenly Father. Mindless chatter can have an affect on others and hurt them and their loved ones. Timothy spoke to young widows in Ephesus, “Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” 1 Tim. 5:13 He encourages them to remarry so that they would not have as much idle time and slip further into sin. As ladies of the kingdom our idle time should be limited. We can get incolved in some form of ministry or industry. We are not to grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9). We need to become weary from hearing gossip and get involved more in our familes, churches and communities and be a shining light for Christ. Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and little minds discuss people. -Eleanor Roosevelt

     Modesty in speech, in it's simplest terms, is respecting one another. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37


Painting: Claude Monet’s 'Woman With A Parasol'


  1. This is an absolutely wonderful post!! I agree with you 110%! I never really thought of it how you described it, "modest in speech". It's so sad how girls are using these horrible words to describe themselves and are proud about it. It makes my heart grieve. You are right on about modest speech being "respecting one another"! Thanks for such a thought provoking post!

    Monica @

  2. Thought-provoking post!

  3. Thanks Monica. I know how you feel especially since I used to say things like that and think it was appropriate. It is definitely one of those things that I look back on and ask myself "What was I thinking?"

    Thanks Anon & TMichelle I am happy you were able to beocme convicted by it. I am working on putting it into practice more in my own life now. :)

  4. Awesome post! It is so easy to be caught up in gossip. We have to be careful not to gossip by way of saying we need to pray for so and so because of...

  5. This is a great post and something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. Praise God! Thanks for the reminder!

  7. very wise post. it is becoming natural to have immoral talk and that is so sad. i am praying that we can start with uplifting and using words that please God! thank you for your words today! be blessed!

  8. Thank you for this post. I need to read it daily...This is also a great lesson for our children.


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