Have you ever wondered why some Christians choose to dress differently than other people? Does it really matter what kind of clothes we wear? Does the Bible have anything to say about how we look? Let’s open the Word of God and see for ourselves!
God is more concerned about our hearts. Jesus could have dressed in rich robes with a crown of gold, or he could have been born in a palace instead of a smelly barn. If he had done that, the poor people would not have approached Him so freely. They would have felt badly about their ragged clothing or they may have come to Him for the wrong reason – to get His wealth. For two reasons, we shouldn’t be too concerned about the latest fashions and trends. (1) God doesn’t care about those things because he looks on the inside and (2) when we focus too much on the outward, we lose sight of what’s on the inside.
Is the Bible more specific about our appearance? Yes! The Bible 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" (1 Timothy 2:9-10, NASV).
Think about it! If you are dressed immodestly, people may look at your body instead of your character. If you are covered in jewelry or expensive brand name clothing, they may covet what you have. We don’t want people to get distracted by what we wear. We want them to see Jesus living in our hearts. Appearance isn’t everything, but the way we look does influence what people think about you and Christians as a whole.
How can you tell if you are too focused on looks? A good rule of thumb, if you’re spending more time styling your hair and picking out your clothes than spending time with God or reading your Bible in the morning, you might need to take a better look at yourself in God’s eyes, rather than the world’s. It’s in the Bible, 1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Does the Bible say anything about being clean? Yes! It’s in the Bible that God expects us to wash ourselves and be clean. You can find this in Hebrews 10:22, NIV, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” There is an old saying. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Being healthy and clean contributes to a good appearance. Being smelly and dirty may turn people away from us.
Should we judge people by how they look? No! “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (Ephesians 4:26, 27, TLB). Christians should be like the LORD and look at the heart. The other part of the verse says that man looks at the outward appearance. That’s why it is so important to be a good example on how we dress. Knowing that they are looking on the outward appearance should give us good reason to encourage them to see our heart!