One of things I remember my mother TRYING to ingrain in us as kids was the importance of your appearance. That was further impressed upon me through various preachers once I became a Christian, that one’s testimony even down to how you groomed yourself was a part of your representing Jesus Christ to a world who desperately needs Him. So I think, yes, combing your hair, wearing clean clothing, brushing your teeth, and of course, deodorant (ha !), etc. are all a part of the deal here there is something else as believers we need to consider: How do we look inwardly as well as outwardly to those around us? Yes, both are vital because a sloppy outfit conveys a poor message. Grunge is not godly and arrogance is anti-christ !! But are you truly showing the fruit of the Spirit or is your disposition not a lot different than the average unbeliever’s?
Let’s look a moment at what Paul wrote in Gal.5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The apostle says there is no law which can produce such fruit, these are the yield of a life truly yielded to Christ ! It’s not a matter of me trying to be really loving or especially calm in a storm, no, those traits developed truly spring from a person’s right relationship with the God of the Universe !! But what are you really looking like to people you meet, know fairly well, work around, live by? Do they really see a difference, in short, do they see Jesus?
Paul also wrote to a church that at times struggled with a good testimony. In 2Cor.5:20 it states, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” That word “reconciled” was used of the exchange of money. If you have ever been to a different country where there was a need to change currency you know what this means, you give up your dollars at the exchange rate of say, a Euro or whatever place you’re in. In other words, you give something and you get something in return. But with God when you give of yourself you get the long end of the stick ! You get His, what we call in theology, “communicable attributes” or you get from Him what He can transfer to you. You get, for example, a more loving nature which you couldnt manufacture on your own. Basically, Paul’s remark to the Corinthians is in agreement with what he also wrote to the Galatians, that we have a small part in this production of fruit (yielding/obeying) but it’s God Who really does the grand work !
People really need to see Christ in your life. They are looking for answers, they are hurting and its not the psychologists or what we called in seminary the “secular priests”, that can truly help, its the Lord and His Word. So think often about what people see in YOU today ! Being harsh, not keeping your place neat, being overly critical, and a “little unethical” won’t cut it ! They want and need to see Christlikeness. So ask Christ to help you be a great ambassador, give your life this day to Him and ask for His power to show Him through you. And, if you have been striving to be filled with His Spirit and are taking pains in your outward appearance stay at it because though you may not see it yet, God is making an impact on those around YOU ! His Word doesn’t return void (Is.55:11) !!