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My understanding is that the Greek word translated as "modesty" in the verse cited in the question is used only once in the entire Bible (that is, in this specific verse). The word seems to be related to other Greek words connected with having a sense of shame. (In fact, the King James Version translates the word as "shamefacedness" rather than as "modesty".) In the context of the verse, I would say that Paul was making the point that Christian women (especially when engaged in public worship) should want to avoid dressing or acting in a manner that is designed to draw attention to themselves, or to distract the concentration of others. The focus seems to be on conspicuous displays of wealth or sexuality, since time and resources devoted to such concerns could be better used on performing or promoting acts of Christian charity. However, they should also wear apparel that is clean and becoming (or, as Paul says, "respectable"), rather than noticeably dirty or ragged, since that would also be a distraction, and (in a worship context) not honoring God with a presentable demeanor. From a standpoint of personal behavior (whether of men or women), modesty (to me) would be similar to humility, and would be in contrast to acts or attitudes of pride or having an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance. It would focus on others, rather than on oneself.
I wholeheartedly agree with my brother in Christ Tim Maas, however, I would take this a step further. In the Garden of Eden, Adam male and female offended a Holy and Righteous God by being naked. They knew they were naked and attempted to cover themselves with nearby fig leaves after they had sinned and lost their covering. The LORD God came walking into the garden asking for them, inquiring where they were.. giving them a chance to repent. Adam male blamed Adam female for the loss of his covering, and she blamed the serpent. What a mess! However, God provided a covering again for our forefathers this time of skins of animals. Their nakedness was to be covered in order to please God. Nakedness reminds God of the original sin in the garden. Modesty covers the dress of man as well as their attitude about their accomplishments. We are representatives of the Living God, we should desire to follow in His laws and under His commandments. God provided modest covering for Adam male and Adam female. He expects us to have modest covering today. Be blessed, Lena
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