Are you bashful? We typically don’t like to be thought of in that way. In our society, bashfulness has a some-what negative connotation of being nervous, uncomfortable, or shy in social settings – as well as being someone who lacks confidence.
In 21st century America, we tend to emphasize being self-confident, out-going, and bold. While there are some scripturally true principles to consider in this, we need to also consider what the scriptures teach about being “bashful.”
The Greek word “aidos” (pronounced ahee-doce’, Strong’s number G127) is used twice in the pages of scripture. Before we consider these two passages, let’s consider the definition given for this word by two Greek authorities.
First, Thayer’s Greek Definitions defines the word, “a sense of shame or honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect.”
Second, Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries defines the word as having the idea of “downcast eyes,” “bashfulness…modesty…awe…reverence…shamefacedness.”
1 Timothy 2:9
1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”
This Greek word is translated as “propriety” in the NKJV (“shamefacedness” in the KJV). It is used to describe how women are to clothe themselves with a sense of bashfulness – and not being unreserved (bold) in their clothing. Namely, a woman must be “bashful” to clothe herself in a way that is fitting for a woman who is professing godliness – as she views the way she clothes herself as being before the eyes of the Lord (Proverbs 15:3)! If God sees her clothing herself in any way that does not bring glory to Him, she is ashamed!
Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
The same Greek word used in 1 Timothy 2:9 is also used here, this time translated as “reverence” (NKJV). Has it changed its meaning? Absolutely not! In all things – whether in how we clothe ourselves or in any area – we must conduct our lives in a way that is bashful before the Lord (and not in a way that is so audacious so as it disregard the will of the Lord)! We must humble ourselves entirely to the Lord so that we can serve Him acceptably!
Are you bashful? Any time that you choose to live according to your own desires rather than humbly submitting yourself to the Lord, you are not being bashful before Him! Instead, what could be said of those in Jeremiah 6:15 can also be said of you regarding sin: “’Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time I punish them, They shall be cast down,’ says the Lord.”
If you rebel against the commandments of the Lord and do not properly live your life in reverence of the Lord, He will also punish you (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)! Let us all be bashful and reverent in conducting our lives so that we will please the Lord!