Don’t judge a book by its cover. We all can agree that it’s what’s inside a person that really counts. However, is it possible that the outward appearance says something about what’s on the inside?
To answer this, let’s take a look at scripture.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
~ 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)
The Lord told Samuel, I’m not looking at their clothes (the latest fashion or name brands) or their looks (tall/short or whether they work out or not). I’m looking at their heart, motives, intent and character.
God acknowledges the fact that man looks at the outward appearance. In which, we must be sure that our outside appearance reflects, who we are on the inside.
The problem however, is that the culture in our society has put so much emphasis on our image (looks and all), that we become obsessed with looking good for others. When in reality, our focus should be on: does my look and appearance reflect the God in me?
Our appearance and behavior set the tone of what others think about us. We live in a world where perception is everything.
Personally, as we began to internalize God’s Word during our times of challenge; what we were feeding our spirit (the Word) was coming out in our speech, our appearance, and our behavior. To the point that, what people saw in us was a reflection of God and not our present circumstance.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself; for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
~ 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 (NLT)
Many people perceive Christians as hypocrites. Why? Because, they don’t see us reflecting Christ in our behavior or in our outward appearance.
3 Ways To Honor God With Our Bodies
We destroy our bodies by what we eat; wear clothes that are offensive or revealing; tear down one another with our words and the list goes on. The good news is, there are a few ways we can honor God with our bodies.
1. Maintain a healthy body.
Taking care of our temple that God has entrusted us with begins with renewing our minds, and then taking care of our physical body.
Scripture reference for personal study; Romans 12:1-2 and 1 Timothy 4:8.
We are called to take care of our body; therefore, hygiene is important to God. Even Jesus encouraged us that when we are fasting not to neglect the washing of our face or the perfuming our head.
Fasting, or being tired is not an excuse for not taking a shower. If we’re walking around with bad hygiene, how are we able to get close to someone witnessing them to Christ?
Scripture references for personal study: Matthew 6:16-17 and Romans 14:21.
3. Be mindful about how we dress.
Children of God walk with; integrity, respect, love, honor, regard, for God and for people. In essence, their outward appearance reflects what’s on the inside.
The Bible gives us clear instructions about our apparel. We’re told men and women should not dress with clothing of the opposite sex.
In addition, our clothing should be modest, not causing any of our brothers or sister to stumble.
When we give consideration of others when we get dress we not only honor God but we demonstrate regard for ourselves and others.
Scripture references for personal study: Deuteronomy 22:5, Matt 5:14-16, Romans 14:21, and 1 Peter 3.
In The End
It’s not a sin to like nice clothes or dress well. However, it is a sin when your desire for fashion is more important to you, than your desire to be like Christ.
You know the saying, you can tell a book by its cover? Wrong or right, people judge others by what they see. And although we know that God looks at our heart, at some point we must choose not to become a stumbling block with our appearance.
Just think, by doing so, we can reduce the perception of hypocritical Christians.
~ André Gray
Kimberly B says
So so good, Andre! Timberley and I have had this discussion many times. I fear I rarely follow the suggestions in your article. I often look sloppy, in leggings, a baggy shirt, and my hair in a scrunchy on top of my head. It’s true I’m a mess most days. I’m tired 23 hours out of the day and you know I also have medical conditions that cause me pain. Though I am not in pain 24 hours a day, it’s still hard to find the energy during the times with less pain to make myself attractive to the world. I remember a conversation Timberley and I had years ago. She said something like, “If we look sloppy or dirty or don’t smell good, it will be difficult to reach others and lead them to Christ.” I totally agree. You’ve reminded me once again, if I’m a hot mess and look like I just rolled out of bed or like I’ve been living on the streets, it will be so much harder to share Jesus with others. The way I look changes the way I am perceived and if I’m believable. How can I share the Good News with others if I look like all I’ve had is bad news my entire life? Love you both and your blog. Thanks for the reminder. Now let me go change out of my pajamas and brush my hair. 😉
Oh Kimberly you are too funny! Yes we have talked about this before, and it really doesn’t make a difference. Even when I’m at home lounging around, I always shower and put on fresh pajamas. Thank you for stopping by to read.
Shawn C says
Some of my initial arguments were answered when it comes to hygiene and keeping our body healthy. Another way to look at it is when it comes to work and our career where in some instances our appearance may bring an interview, a raise or open a new door. Our appearance or the way we carry ourselve can be a beacon for how God can work through us to attract another person to him and his word. Our appearance by the message we carry in our community, seeing a Bible in the car or the house can spark someone to say hey why is that there which can then lead to a deaper discussion.
Whether it’s a person wearing a suit or a person wearing blue jeans a person can see the appearance of someone walking to or into church as a spark for them to look inside themselves. Seeing a person at a coffee shop reading a bible or holding bible study can be another form of appearance regardless of clothing or look which can be a door for someone to step in and lead them to Glory. I understand the points of appearance in this discussion above but I wanted to try and provide a different view of looking at this in 2018. God Bless
Hey brother, thanks for stopping by to read, I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, we have written other blogs about that very topic; how we conduct ourselves speaks to what we believe without even saying a word. Appreciate you sharing your insight, iron sharpens iron, and this is what we love to see.