In my 39th week of pregnancy, countless numbers of people have told me that I should be sitting down and allowing people to wait on me. They’ve also been surprised that I am well-groomed because if any time in your life you have license to look out of sorts it is when you’re pregnant; everyone understands that you just may not have felt like pulling yourself together, and they will excuse you. Well, I have been blessed to have a wonderful pregnancy and didn’t need to take license to have my hair and clothes looking any kind of way. But even if I did feel horrible, I would have to make a way so that I would be well-groomed because I want to strive to glorify God at all times.
I had someone challenge me on my previous blog entry where I stated we as Christians should do our best to look our best because we are God’s representatives. He wanted to know was I making dressing well a prescription for all Christians and then wondered where the scruffy John the Baptist fit into my premise. John the Baptist was an exception because he was called to be a Nazarite. And because God called him to an ascetic lifestyle, his obedience, including his clothes of camel’s hair and a leather belt, gave glory to God. With that said, I guess you can argue that being well-groomed is based on God’s personal calling for your life and even on cultural norms. So, if God didn’t call you to a Nazarite life and you live where good grooming means, at the bare minimum, wearing clean and neat clothes, being neat and clean is what I believe we need to do in order to give God glory.
Don’t confuse giving God glory with seeking vainglory. One woman said that my previous blog post gave her “another healthy reason” to keep herself looking good. And we better make sure that we have a healthy focus. Too often we can trick ourselves into believing that we have to own a piece of clothing or wear the perfect outfit in order to give God glory. Remember the basics of neat and clean, the bare minimum that expresses you care about the look of your temple of God. We are told not to do anything to bring us glory so don’t go overboard with your look. Make sure you let your eternal light be your guide.
Ezra told the Israelites “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” He said this on the heels of having to encourage them not to be sad but to celebrate because they understood God’s word. We, too, should celebrate, even through our appearance, because we understand God’s word, the basic message being 1) that Jesus died for our sins; 2) we who accepted his sacrifice knew we needed a savior so we repented of our sins; and 3) because of our acceptance of his sacrifice and repentance of our sins we can live blessed lives on earth and will spend eternity in heaven because Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, our light within. This is the joy of the Lord, that gladness that comes from God that keeps and protects us. I want to express this reality to people. This joy is within me but should manifest outside of me in my behavior, my smile, my talk, my walk (the way I treat people) and the way I adorn my body. So good grooming for the Christian starts from within, from a soul that has said yes to Jesus and wants people to know about the goodness of His salvation. Our focus should always be about attracting people to us so we can attract people to Jesus. Certainly we can do this by being well-groomed.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith