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Galatians 5:22 – Modesty

25-10-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control.

The rendering above also deviates from the usual translations for the penultimate characteristic of “the fruit of the Spirit” (modesty; Gr. ‘pra-utés’). The word is generally translated as ‘meekness’, but the disadvantage of this is that it is wrongly associated with ‘gentle’ or ‘weak’.

Often ‘meekness’ is mentioned in the same breath as ‘humility’ (Mat.11:29, Eph.4:2, Col.3:12). In Titus 3:2,3, ‘meekness’ is presented as a motive for imagining nothing. Our word ‘modesty’ expresses this perfectly. A modest person does not think too highly of himself. Nor will he push himself or put himself forward. A modest person does not look down on the other person and likes to give others the appreciation they deserve. Modesty is an attitude that is separate from one’s qualities and position. One can be talented or occupy a high position and still be humble.

Like the other characteristics of “the fruit of the Spirit”, modesty also follows logically from the foregoing. Wanting to showcase oneself or pretend to be more beautiful, proves inner dissatisfaction. He who knows joy and peace does not have that urge and is therefore modest.