Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MY TAKE ON MODESTY AND MINIMALISM

Before you get turned off by the word "modesty", keep reading and hear me out.

This is for gals and guys. Old and young. 

The word modesty has become somewhat misconstrued over the years.

When we hear that word, we associate it with women wearing long skirts and dresses.

In reality, it is defined much differently than than that. 

According to Dictionary.com modesty is :
  1. the quality of being modestfreedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
  2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress,etc. 
  3. simplicity; moderation.
Therefore, modesty is a lifestyle.

It is more than just clothing. 

Many people have a bad view of modesty,

In particular, some girls remember when they were younger and a cranky old woman told them their outfit looked inappropriate.  

Or a strict parent volunteering at a youth group told them that their shorts were too short and unacceptable for church.

Or a teacher at school sent them to the office for violating dress code. 

The word "modesty" has almost become a punishment.

When really, it means something completely different.

Modesty can come in many forms.

We can be modest with our words and behavior.

We can be modest with the way we present and respect ourselves and others.

We can be modest by having a humble attitude.

Actually humility is a synonym for modesty as well.

Moreover, there is a new movement sweeping through our culture called "minimalism".

Becomingminimalist.com gives us a clear meaning of modern minimalism by explaining,
"It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life."
At first I viewed it as just another fad.
But then I realized that living minimally is actually a great concept and it can go hand in hand with living modestly. 
Living modestly is more internal and living minimally is external. 
Minimalists are known for having limited material things.

They live simply and keep their belongings...well minimal.

There is even a phenomenon called the "capsule wardrobe"

This involves limiting your clothes to somewhere around 30 items and getting rid of the rest.

These 30 items can mix and match but you can't add to it or go shopping for more after you've chosen.

This way, you can learn to be content with what you have, keep your closet clean, and not worry as much about your appearance.

When I first heard about this, I said there's no way that I could ever do that.

I love shopping and I love keeping up with the trends. 

And what if Forever 21 was having a huge sale...then what would I do?

Oh I know, how about just never do the capsule wardrobe?! 

Yeah, good plan.

Then, just the other day it came up again and I began to reexamine my lifestyle.

Was I really living modestly?

Was I making my life more stressful, cluttered and complicated than it needed to be?

Yes.

Time for a change.

I've seen how the effects of shopping and accumulating material things have impacted people I love firsthand. 

I've seen how clutter has invaded a home and how the utilization of a sale can become an obsession.

So I've decided to try make my life more minimalistic... Starting now.

Less stuff, less stress.

Especially since I'm not a naturally organized person.

On top of that, I have a theory that living with less will also contribute to living modestly internally.

When I have less things to deal with, I will have more time for taking care of my own needs and the needs of others, without being overwhelmed with too much. 

Unnecessary tasks and to do lists keep my mind occupied on the mess, not the beauty in life.

There's a quote that says "My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather have less to do" - Francine Jay

We can live minimally and in modest moderation by limiting our tasks and keeping it simple.

This way our whole lifestyle can be more relaxed and we can focus on the most important parts of life. 

Our entire persona can change.

So I've decided that when I get home from traveling this summer, I'm going to give away most of my clothes and other unnecessary belongings and choose not to acquire much more.

I may not be a pro at the capsule wardrobe but I'm definitely going to try and see if I can at least have a conscious awareness of minimalism in all aspects of my life. 

I refuse to let busyness and clutter get the best of me.

And I refuse to let sales constantly pull me into buying things I don't need.

Studies show that 1 in 6 people have a shopping addiction to the point where they can barely resist any bargain they see.

This could easily happen to any of us and the world is full of ads to entice consumers.

This is why our stuff keeps piling up.

I've decided to stop the cycle in my own life and only buy and keep items that have significant meaning in correspondence with my values.

Of course, I'll still get things that I genuinely need to survive. 

But I don't want anything flashy and expensive.

Actually, I take that back.

Just because something is expensive, does not mean it is not a wise investment.

As a matter of fact, I believe the key to minimalism is quality over quantity.

Yes, it may cost more but if it will last a lifetime then it is better than buying a ton of junk that breaks and needs to be replaced.

This way, less is more.

Overall, I just want the minimal, modest life.

My life was not created for earthly treasures or stressful living.

In fact, Jesus himself was quite the minimalist.

The best of all time I believe.

He traveled from place to place without a moving van or an RV full of stuff.

He didn't even bring a designer suitcase with a matching carry on bag!

Impressive, I know.

He only possessed the minimal survival necessities.

And He urged the people following Him to do the same.

One time a young ruler asked Jesus what was required of him on earth, in order to go to heaven.

Jesus answered,
"When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich." - Luke 18:22-23
So basically he told the guy to be a minimalist too.

Yeah...he didn't like that idea.

Kind of like me when I heard about the capsule wardrobe.

Now, I'm not saying everyone has to get rid of everything and I don't think Jesus meant that either.

The point was that there was an unhealthy attachment to the stuff.

An idolization of material things.

Jesus just wants us to be willing to give it all up in an instant if needed.

Because what we accumulate on this planet means nothing.

In heaven nobody will care about what your house looked like or if you didn't have one at all.

Jesus went on to say in verse 25, "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Gotta love Jesus' analogies.

He said that because if anyone is unable to put God first and love Him above what their money can buy, then they are in serious danger and won't go to heaven whatsoever.

Money can be blinding and controlling.

Most of all, Jesus wants us to simply love Him and live free from any bondage. 

Free from the bondage of stuff, stress, busyness, and cultural expectations.

Remember the first definition of modesty.

1. the quality of being modestfreedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.

Freedom.

Freedom from being conceited and consumed with greed etc etc etc.

It goes on and on.

Modesty and minimalism provide freedom from earthly attachment.

So what do you say?

Wanna follow Jesus together and let go of anyTHING holding us back?

I know I do.

Let's live more, with less.

Nobody said anything about how many pairs of boots you can have for the capsule wardrobe right?... 
















No comments:

Post a Comment