8/15/07

An Attractive Appearance

"Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart" (I Samuel 16:7). I'm so glad for God's perspective—but people still notice if I take the time to brush my hair and look presentable. First impressions count and either open or close doors for communication and ministry. Appearance is an important step in sharing our faith, because our appearance should reflect our relationship with God. We want opportunities to attract people to God's love, and we don't want our appearance to hinder the gospel message.

Appearances can be superficial, of course. Some people have an attractive appearance but an ugly heart. But the opposite is also true. We can have a beautiful, godly heart, and not express that in a meaningful way. The Christian's outward appearance should include modesty and purity (I Timothy 2:9-10), but also charm and careful grooming. Our focus isn't beauty or "image," but rather, being appropriate and taking time to look our best.

I recently made a quick trip to the grocery store. I didn't take time to freshen up, and I looked sloppy and haggard. I hoped I wouldn't run into anyone I knew—but wouldn't you know it, I saw a woman from my church. I ducked in and out of aisles, trying to avoid her. She caught up with me as I stood in the check-out line. After we chatted, she waved goodbye, calling out, "See you in church!" As she left, people turned and looked at me, and I cringed. One woman took in my full sloppy appearance, examining me from head to toe. Ashamed, I prayed, "Oh, Lord, this is not a good reflection on you or the family of God."

There are times we cannot help how we look, but whenever we have the choice, it's smart to cultivate an attractive appearance.

1 comment:

Maggie Johnson said...

Convicting! As I love to be comfortable but have been thinking lately how I am reflecting Christ to the world. Thank you for this challenge!