IT’S NOT HOW IT LOOKS!
I recently purchased a new face powder. Having just received it before I set out on a trip for work, I threw it into my makeup bag and did not “road test” it until I was actually on the road. After applying my new translucent powder to polish up my look, I was running late and about to dash out the door, when I saw something that stopped me in my tracks – the fine white powder on the counter in front of the make-up mirror.
It was my face powder, but I thought to myself, “this is what cocaine looks like in the movies” (the only place I have seen it). I was glad I noticed it before leaving rather than having the maid come in and find it. I wondered what she would have done. Called the cops? Cleaned it up, while thinking, “not my business what she does. I just clean the room.” If I had not cleaned it up and returned to find the maid cleaning it up, I would probably have wanted to yell “it’s not how it looks!”
Appearances matter. God looks on the heart. But He is the only one who can actually see into the human heart. The rest of us cannot judge the heart. We judge actions and words and, maybe erroneously, make judgements on how things appear. We shouldn’t do it, but we make snap judgements about people when we first meet them – based on their clothes or actions or words.
In the business world they say, “dress for the job you want.” And I know when people see me shopping after work, they would have reason to assume I am a business woman because in business attire. I also know that when I show up in exercise clothes, no makeup and a pony tail they have reason to assume I have just been exercising or am about to exercise, even though sometimes I am just being comfortable and casual. And possibly hoping no one recognizes me.
In the case of us Christians, the impact of that first impression and snap judgement might have even greater repercussions. People might (and I believe they do) judge my church and (gasp) even God by what they see in me – how I act, what I say – maybe even in just one encounter.
I have to be aware every day, at every chance encounter, that my behavior, my words and my attitude can make others judge God wrongly – consider Him untrustworthy or incapable. How much more should I be careful with the impressions of my faith and of God that I give to people closest to me – my children, siblings, co-workers, mate – by the things I think and say and do.
As a Christian women, I know the job I am “dressing” for is “child of God.” The most important first impression I give others is the one connected to my faith and my God.
The Bible gives us guidance on what to wear for the job of Christian. I am to be “clothed in humility.” (1 Peter 5:5)
It also tells me what the first impression I give others should be. We read about it in John 13:35 [KJV] 35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” From Jesus’ own mouth, I am told that when people see me, the first thing they should see is love for others. And in seeing love for others, they will see a sister of Christ. As Christ said in John 14:9 that those who had seen Him had seen the Father, so He tells me that when others see me they must see the Father. Because God is love, whenever someone sees true Christian love, they see the Father.
People might see “weird” religion when they see my actions. I cannot help it if they think that about Sabbath-keeping or the Holy Days. But, they should never think ill of Jesus or the Father because of the impression I give them. I certainly don’t want my actions or words to require Jesus to say, “it’s not what you think!”
”I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at
Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org. Or feel free to text me at 903-571-6339.
About the N.E.W. Church Lady – She is just an average middle aged woman who has been a believer and church attender all her life. She is married with three grown children. She lives in a small town and works in sales. Her hobbies are fitness, reading, cooking, writing and travel