Modesty and Authenticity

Read Esther 2:12-14.

Esther exhibited an unselfish modesty and authenticity. Think of it: no job, no responsibility, no cooking, no clean-up, no washing, no ironing, no errands, no budget-watching, no holding back in any area. Imagine! Pampered and indulged, in this self-centered harem of Persia, all of the emphasis rests upon her becoming a woman of greater physical beauty. Jewelry, clothing, perfumes, cosmetics, whatever she wishes, from coiffure to pedicure, are hers. The only thing on everyone’s mind is to win this contest—to please the king and gain his favor.

Remember, at this time Esther cannot be more than twenty years old or so, and she could have been even younger. This is a chance of a lifetime for her to have whatever she wishes. Instead, she remains true to what she has been taught and abides by the counsel of Mordecai, believing that he knows what’s best for her. She does not succumb to the temptation around her—the superficiality, the selfishness, the seduction, the self-centeredness. She displays an unselfish modesty, an authenticity, amid unparalleled extravagance.

As ironic as that may sound, I think that most Christian women do not use cosmetics to appear false or become other than who they are. The women we admire use cosmetics to subtly enhance the natural beauty that is already there. I’m sure that was true of Esther.

Frankly, I’m convinced that Esther went in to the king without fear because she had no driving ambition to be queen. Her life didn’t revolve around her physical appearance or making a king happy. She was there for one reason: because she knew that the hand of God was on her life, and through circumstances and Mordecai’s wisdom, she had been brought to this place for a reason. To use one of my favorite expressions, she had her stuff together. She knew where she was coming from. She knew who she was. She knew what she believed. And she knew that God’s hand was on her life. If it was His pleasure that she be here, if it was part of His plan, then she would willingly accept it. If not, she would willingly relinquish it. She was modest about her own person, and she was authentic.

Can you say the same thing about yourself? After all, God’s hand is on your life too.

Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives: Daily Insight from Great Lives of the Bible (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005) 197. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

About the author

CharlesS

Charles R. Swindoll

Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word. Since 1998, he has served as the senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck’s listening audience extends beyond a local church body. As a leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living airs around the world. Chuck’s leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry.

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