I’ve come to realize that modesty is wrong.
Modesty, as I’ve seen it used, is down-playing one’s own worth in front of others for the sake of not appearing big-headed. People are modest when they know they are awesome, and they know that everyone else knows they are awesome, and they are afraid of people disliking them because of their pride. So they down-play their worth in order to eliminate any reason for someone disliking them.
Modesty is also a sign that someone still views themselves as their own creation. If everyone is a creation of God then down-playing the worth of anyone, including yourself, is wrong. God wants your awesomeness to shine because you reflect the awesomeness of your Creator.
The ideal solution is to accept your awesomeness, not pretend it isn’t there, and at the same time acknowledge the awesomeness of others. Instead of down-playing yourself and saying, “No, I’m really just as crappy as you are,” recognize the giftedness that both of you have and say, “We’re both awesome! How awesome is the God who made us!”
Humility, on the other hand, is good.
Humility, though not arrogant, has nothing to do with down-playing one’s self worth. You don’t have to view yourself as crappy to be humble. Humility is simply having an accurate perception of one’s self in relation to an Almighty God. In humilty you can still recognize your awesomeness for what it is, you are simply aware that it is infinitescimal next to that of God’s. Humility in social interactions is being respectful of others and their awesomeness, because we are all made in God’s image. But it doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you, because you bear God’s image as well.
Humility is carrying out one of Jesus’s commands to us, which is to treat everyone as we would treat Him.
I don’t write this to put anyone down. Modesty is something we as Canadians have been trained to do – and at first glance it sounds perfectly fine. Many times in my life I fear I’ve been more modest and less humble (because I still viewed myself as my own creation and not God’s creation – one of many causes of my perfectionism), and this is something I want to reverse in my life. This is me analyzing the reasons behind what we do, and looking for a better solution.
P.S.: Does “The Humble and the Modest” sound to you like the title of a weird action movie?