12. Modest

  1. Being a Christian in work is being modest. Following Jesus Christ in our work means being modest because on earth, Jesus was modesty personified. His modesty is an inspiration for how we live and work. Jesus also calls us to a moderate lifestyle.320 From the Holy Spirit we receive the heart, wisdom, and strength to work modestly.
  2. Working modestly means keeping away from materialism and consumerism. We do not work to possess or consume as much as possible or to persuade or enable others to do so. God, not pleasure, is the highest good. Jesus chose to live in simplicity; He denounced attachment to wealth. Those who want to become rich will not only fall into temptation but have already fallen into temptation.321
  3. Working modestly means being sober. The more pomp and circumstance, or luxury and excesses, the more we advocate for a heaven on earth and the less this demonstrates a desire for heaven. Christians who maintain an economic system of opulence damage their testimony of devotion to God.322 Simplicity is the simplest testimony.
  4. Working modestly means using resources sparingly.323 God gives abundantly but He does not like to waste and squander. Wasting and squandering destroy what God has given us and make worthless what is valuable to God. Those who work efficiently have more resources to serve God.
  5. Working modestly means not being motivated by status, honor, or fame.324 We do not work to be worshipped but work to worship God in it. After all, to work is to worship. Working is not about our honor, but God’s honor; it is not about our glory, but God’s glory. Whoever allows himself to be worshipped, pushes God away. Those who allow themselves to be glorified are being ungodly to God because our work is about glorifying Him. The only standing that matters is how we stand before God.325
  6. Working modestly means being moderate in our dealings and actions. We may be ambitious, but we do not have to go to the extreme. Wanting to be the biggest, fastest, smartest or best is not a goal, neither is being the most popular, most productive, most profitable, and richest. Work is not a competition that revolves around winning and beating the opponents.326 Moderation means going for what is right, using our talents to the extent to which we have received them,327 and being content with what we achieve.
  7. Working modestly means being content with what we earn. Everything we earn we get from God, so dissatisfaction with what we earn is ungratefulness towards Him.328 If God did not exist, then we would not earn anything. Those who constantly want to earn more offend God. We should realize this when we go on strike to earn more.
  8. Working modestly means being satisfied with what we possess.329 All out possessions are on loan from God, so dissatisfaction is ingratitude towards Him. We are poor when our wealth cuts us off from relationship with God and people. We should use our wealth to glorify God.330 Wealth becomes a blessing when the poor and other needy share in it.

  1. Matthew 19:21
  2. Proverbs 11:24, 1 Timothy 6:9
  3. 1 Corinthians 14:40, 1 Timothy 2:9
  4. Luke 15:8
  1. 1 Corinthians 5:6
  2. Exodus 20:3-6, Deuteronomy 5:6-10
  3. Galatians 5:22
  4. Romans 12:3
  1. 1 Timothy 6:6
  2. Hebrews 13:5
  3. 1 Chronicles 29:1-21

Questions

  1. Which Bible verse about modesty do I find particularly appealing and provides guidance for what working modestly means (to me)?
  2. To what extent do I agree with the above summary of what working modestly means?
  3. Are there any missing elements in the above list of what working modestly means? If so, which ones?
  4. How would I personally describe what working modestly means for Christians?
  5. How would I describe concretely what working modestly means for me?
  6. To what extent do I subscribe to the idea that modesty is an important characteristic/virtue for Christians in their work?
  7. To what extent do I subscribe to the idea that modesty is an important guideline/principle for the behavior of Christians in their work?
  8. To what extent is modesty an important virtue and principle for me in my work?
  9. How do I experience the importance of modesty in my work?
  10. Suppose I was allowed to take with me all my earthly possessions to the afterlife, would I still be not greedy and materialistic?
  11. Do I work to bring about modesty? Do I do so wholeheartedly?
  12. To what extent can I work modestly in my work?
  13. How often have I recently brought modesty to my work?
  14. How modestly do I do my work? How does it show?
  15. To what extent do I use modesty as a principle for my behavior in my work? Could I illustrate this using the decisions I have recently made in my work?
  16. When I look back at my working life, could I say that I have increasingly become more modest in my behavior?
  17. To what extent do people I work with think I act modestly in my work? What have they said to me about this?
  18. To what extent do I think God thinks I act modestly in my work?
  19. How can I become and act more modestly in my work? How would I do this concretely?
  20. Which elements of working modestly am I going to bring more of in my next working day?
  21. What am I going to say in a prayer to God about working modestly?
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