Gracism and Modesty

Modesty is not a term often associated with discussions of race but David Anderson makes an intriguing point in the next chapter of Gracism. The discussion of modesty derives from the next verse in 1 Corinthians to be applied:

…the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty. 

Modesty, in context, is more than just a reference to one’s manner of dress or personal actions. It is a reference to the covering of one’s vulnerable areas. David gives the example of clothing and how it can be alluring and expose parts of our bodies better left covered or it can be a shield of sorts, offering cover for those areas of our bodies that we don’t want seen or that need a bit of protection. As he brings the metaphor to bear on the body, we read the passage as saying that before we express judgement or decide to expose areas of the body of humanity that are unsightly or need covering, we consider the gospel impact of offering a covering first. In others words, there are some issues within the the Body of Christ such as race or culture that are best dealt with behind closed doors, behind a drape of modesty. David is quick to point out that this modesty is not the same as sweeping sin or abuse under the rug.

Special modesty clothes the manner in which we speak about other cultural or racial groups because we place the unity of the Body as our highest priority. Division within the Church, whether it be racial or theological, does nothing to forward the gospel and everything to diminish our Lord and the love he offers. The Gracist is committed to giving our all to contribute to the dignity of others regardless of our differences. We focus our energies on making each other look good rather than exposing our vulnerabilities. Christ is glorified.