"...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
One Sunday morning as I was reading, I came across this popular verse. I have heard it interpreted and used to one's own advantage a number of times and in a number of ways. I continued reading, not giving great importance to the verse at the time. Later that morning, I was preparing breakfast before getting ready for church and heard this same verse on the radio. I figured maybe I should pay attention. ;) Not having time right then to think on it and pray about it, I did wonder why the Lord brought it to my attention? These are my thoughts on the subject.
I think that many times Christians tend to use this verse for more than what one might usually interpret. Meaning more than just the old cliche "It's what's on the inside that counts". I don't believe this passage should be used as a platform for modesty or the lack thereof. So many want to fit in, so many Christians give up wholesome ideals and demean themselves to the world's standards. How many times have I been informed of God's grace and Christ's sacrifice so we now have a life of freedom, all of this in an effort to live a life of whim and fancy with the excuse of forgiveness. As I am so very thankful for my salvation and God's mercy on this worthless sinner, I don't believe that Christ died so we can be free to wear tight jeans and revealing tank tops. There is a level of "freedom" that many Christians have taken advantage of. I admit to it myself. God may be looking at your heart, but man IS looking at your outward appearance and I mean that specifically to young ladies and women.
As many of you know, I live a conservative life and dress. The vast majority of the time, I am in a skirt and rarely wear any type of pants unless I may be doing some heavy yard work or housework. So I am speaking to myself when I say that, whereas some Christians may conform to the looks of the world, I have to be careful to not conform to the looks of those around me. It's just as important to dress the way I dress because I believe it's pleasing to the Lord and not because it's pleasing to my like-minded friends. My own convictions should be considered and not the convictions of other families I may admire. Just like many Christians want to fit in with the world and make excuses for their attire, I have to be careful I am not just trying to fit in with my church family. Being careful that the person I portray at church and with friends is the same person that lives in my home and among my family. I am thankful God looks at my heart, because my outward man fails so often.
Just consider, when you get dressed in the morning, who and/or what are you dressing for? Does your outward appearance reflect who you are on the inside? Are you dressing by the world's standards, your church's standards, or God's standards?
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2