I have a confession. I am terribly concerned about the way I look, and this is not pleasing to God.
Last week, Robert came with me to get my hair cut (dumb). Actually, it was a good thing because he helped me realize how important my looks are to me. Every time I cut my hair the result is more mirror time. Serious mirror time. If it is a good haircut I am in a super happy mood; if it doesn’t turn out so well (like the time my head looked like a mushroom) unhappiness, misery and stomach pains ensue. I am vain. Period.
I know for a fact I am not alone in this struggle. I can attempt to make the conviction not as painful by shifting some blame on our culture and blah blah blah. The truth is, God is not pleased with a self-absorbed Christian. Is God brought more glory when I meditate on his word, or when I dwell on the style of my hair or the length of my eyelashes? He is pleased when my heart yearns for purity and righteousness (Matt. 5:6,8). When I am broken by how ugly my hearts is apart from him, he is compassionate and merciful (Psalm 51:17). This is hard to admit, but far too many days am I concerned by my outer appearance and the condition of my heart doesn’t even cross my mind. This is a shame and not godly.
Other than getting ready in the morning for my day and making sure I look presentable, as a redeemed child of Holy God, devoting much more time than this in front of a mirror is putting zero use to what Jesus has done for me. (This does not include taking care of my body. Clearly, I’m not being so extreme as to say time at the gym is a waste.) My time and focus are all that I have to offer him. So, it may not seem like a big thing to some–it’s just a little vanity after all. In my experience though, the more time I spend focusing on myself (no matter the reason) the less likely I am to focus on my husband, my friends, my church. Little steps take me from a servant attitude towards a serve-me one. How subtly I am wasting the work of the cross.
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
(Psalm 119:37 ESV)