We tend to put so much emphasis on the external, but God says He’s more concerned with the heart than the outer appearance —- “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7b NIV)
This morning I read from 1 Timothy 2 and verse 9 & 10 really caught my attention: “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. (1 Tim 2:9-10 NLT)
Again, this stands in contrast to our culture that is so focused on the external. Don’t get me wrong – I think you should do all you can with all you’ve got, but attractiveness to God is not based on looks – it’s based on character that produces good things (Godly works). This is not an excuse for being sloppy or not trying to take care of yourself because your body is the home of God’s Spirit, but our culture has missed it totally when it comes to what’s important.
I showed the students in England last week a photo of Janet and told them: “My wife is HOT!” She is very attractive to me, but not just in her external appearance. She is also attractive because she has a tender heart that motivates her to do good things for people – she genuinely loves the kids she teaches – she cares about people who don’t know God – she has a special love for the elderly – and a great love for her family.
In light of the contrast between culture and the words of our Creator – consider this final thought today: 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 Msg)