~ connecting lives ~
Don't judge others by appearance. Remember that God looks beyond what we look like on the outside. It's in the Bible, I Samuel 16:7, NIV. "The Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Appearances can be deceiving; true character is shown by one's life and actions. It's in the Bible, Matthew 7:16-17, NKJV. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
The outward appearance of righteousness, is worthless if does not reflect accurately the inner character. It's in the Bible, Matthew 23:27-28, NKJV. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."
Don't be like the world, the world focuses on what is attractive for the eyes and drawing attention to yourself. It's in the Bible, 1 John 2:15-16, NKJV. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world."
Our Christian influence and witness is affected by our appearance. It's in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:9, 10, NEB. "Woman again must dress in becoming manner, modestly and soberly, not with elaborate hairstyles, not decked out with gold or pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, as befits women who claim to be religious."
We should avoid anything that causes confusion over what we stand for. It's in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV. "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
When Christ came, His physical appearance was not attractive. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 53:2, NIV. “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” But although Jesus was not particularly attractive physically, His spiritual qualities—kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness, tenderness, and undying love—were obvious to everyone He met and drew them to Him. He is our example.
Being a follower of Christ will make you different from those around you. It's in the Bible, Matthew 5:13-14, NKJV. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden"
We need to accessorize our inner character, not our outer attire. It's in the Bible, 1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV. "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."
The spiritual implications of our appearance include more than just the way we look and dress—the outward adornment through clothes and jewelry. Appearance includes lifestyle and the expensive homes and cars and gadgets we accumulate to impress others. These things lead to covetousness and greed. It's in the Bible, Luke 12:15, NKJV. “And He said to them, 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'"