What Does Your Appearance Say About You?

Submitted February 22, 2013

What does your appearance say about you?

While sitting in a waiting room, waiting for an eye exam, an elderly gentleman walked in whose appearance caught my eye. He had a nice suit on with a very nice wool overcoat. His shoes where so shiny you could probably see yourself in them. I can assure you I did not try. I thought to myself, this guy is rich, probably a CEO. As I looked around the room, everyone else was dressed in their jeans and one lady even had holes in her jeans. When I looked at the other people in the room, and how they were dressed, I certainly was not left with the same impression as I with the immaculate dressed elderly gentleman.

It made me think about our appearance. We know that God looks at the heart, and that is what is most important. But, our appearance leaves a message in others peoples minds. What does our appearance say about us? What is the first impression that people see when they see you? Does appearance mean anything? Is your appearance modest? Do we strive to wear our very best for the occasion? The main question we should also ask is does our appearance represent God? We are representative of God in our behavior and in our dress. We should dress as Ambassadors for the coming Kingdom of God. We should dress to honor God.

You do not have to spend a lot of money to look well dressed. Many thrift or second hand stores have great clothing for a low budget. You can find great quality clothes at these second hand shops. I know after seeing this gentleman it made me want to try harder and dress better because I know our appearance projects an image of us and of God, especially if they know we are Christians.

We want our appearance to project a high quality person, a representative of God! So always remember when you get ready to go somewhere what does your and my appearance say to others and am I representing God as an Ambassador?



Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to webmaster@ucg.org.


Marino B Bual

Marino B Bual's picture

Indeed, the more you dress your best - - the more blessed and prosperous you become . . . .




Clayton Wilcowski

Clayton Wilcowski's picture

people should dress nice, but modest. but let us not forget what are lord says on the subject, "therefore i tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. is not life more important then food, and the body more important than clothes?"(Matthew6:25)




KARS

KARS's picture

Thank you. I was just talking about this yesterday.
I realize not everyone can wear expensive clothes. However, with a neat and clean appearance and showing that you care about yourself; the fashion merri-go-round (if you can't afford it) isn't vital that you keep. Just look your best with what you can afford.




KirstieBart

KirstieBart's picture

Great article, made me think. But I have to say, your immediate reaction to the well dressed fella isn't necessarily what people want to be. When I think CEO rich guy, I don't also think, he must be nice, or he might be a Christian. I know what you are trying to say, we represent God at all times. But I think we can often get too hung up on what we and others are wearing, in and out of church, because who knows, maybe the kid with blue hair that is a Christian can get through to his friends with blue hair who aren't. He may not be able to reach them in a suit. But God knows every circumstance so I suppose he can use you no matter what you're wearing, well dressed or not.




Whiteknight777

Whiteknight777's picture

Yes, it does make a difference. When I visit a doctor I always dress for the occasion and have found over the years, that one does get better treatment when dressed in casual clothing rather than backyard clothing.

Just ensure that you don't forget your inside- your heart, mind, and spirit, while you take care of the outside.

WK




sly5019

sly5019's picture

I don't understand this at all. Judge people by what they wear? Looking "rich" even if you can't afford it? Buy "rich peoples" clothes at the second hand store? I know people who can't even afford to buy clothes at a second hand store. Appearance makes us a "high quality person"? The Bible says God looks on the heart but man looks on the outward appearance. Jesus didn't send the apostles out with "rich peoples" clothes. Shouldn't we try to be like God instead of like men? Don't we represent God by what we do and say? Not what we wear? When I first went to church about 40 years ago my husband and I were told we couldn't attend church unless he bought a suit. We had no money and couldn't afford one. Had to borrow money. I was young then but will never forget it. It was wrong. The Bible says God cares about what is in our hearts. If you are an ambassador of God isn't it more important that people pay attention to what you do and say? Not be distracted by your "rich" appearance? (Like you were with the "rich" looking man?) Did you wonder if the "rich looking" man was a good person? Or did you just assume he was because he was dressed "rich"? Did you wonder if the people who appeared "needy and poor" were good people? Or did you assume they weren't because they looked "poor and needy"? Would the "poor and needy" people be allowed to come to your church? Or only the "rich" looking man?




Julian Alarcon

Julian Alarcon's picture

Appearance is not everything, really now that is mans way of thinking. John the Baptist wore camels hair and ate locust and wild honey, Jesus asked to to be baptised by him...




KARS

KARS's picture

It all has to do with additude. So no matter how your dressed what is the message you want to give to others? Do I want attention that will lead to trouble or do I want to be respected. Of course nowadays, even a descent dress person can even be harrased. It all hinges on how our parents/parent teach us to care about ourselves and the practice of good hygene.




bambrose

bambrose's picture

My parents had nine children, whilst they had very little in material things including clothing for their children they always taught us to be loving and caring children, I was born in the United Kingdom in the 1940's on Friday's my mother regularly visited jumble sales, these were organised by churches, people would hand in their unwanted clothing, shoes etc and you could purchase them for a very modest amount, I spent my early life and through my teen years wearing other peoples hand downs and you know when I reflect back it never bothered me, even when each Sunday my mother would make us attend morning church and in the afternoon Sunday school, I know other people looked down on my family because of the comments other children would make regarding being a big family and poor, only comments that older people would make in ear shot of Children.
Times have changed for me over the years, I now have a very loving and caring family, I always buy new cloths now but it does not make me any less caring and loving for others, my parents instilled some very strong principles into their children and we are still a very closely knit family community, it doesn't matter how you dress it matters what is inside your heart and soul, and it does not matter what others think of you as long as you know you are living a righteous life.
I often wonder what God and Jesus think about, how some people and in particular greedy selfish governments and church groups etc such as the Roman Catholic church who from the Vatican down portray a symbol of wealth and prosperity, while millions of people around the world are suffering, somehow I don't think they will be placed any higher in the queue to everlasting life than the person that has nothing material but can be humble and demonstrate a true faith in God and Jesus.




vielgervise

vielgervise's picture

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold,
or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart,with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,which is very precious in the sight of God."

-1 Peter:3:3-4 :)

#justreminding#




Joshua Infantado

Joshua Infantado's picture

The comments made here is really interesting.

First, I will give justice to the writer. I believe her blog is too short to examine the two sides of the argument. And if given the chance, I know she knows that God does not look at the outward appearance as what 1Sa_16:7
"But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."

This is also supported by 1Pe 3:3
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

I believe there is nothing wrong with wearing descent attire and as a matter of fact, we SHOULD do it whenever it is necessary. Especially when we go to Church services, we should appear to God with our best attire.

our "BEST" greatly depends upon our individual circumstances. there are people who can afford nice attire and there are those who dont. But it will all come down to what 'motivates' you. If you can wear good attire then why not wear them especially if it will glorify God, right? God wants our best. If our best is a t-shirt and jeans, then that is good enough to God. I believe that is the message the writer of this blog is trying to say.:)

By the way, nice blog!




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

"Before we come into God's presence at a worship service, we need to reflect on who He is, what He is and what His purpose is for humankind. If we understand and reflect on His purpose and our relationship with Him, we will want to glorify and honor Him to the greatest extent possible. That desire to respect and honor God should be reflected not only in our attitude, but also in our physical actions and appearance": http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/gods-holy-convocations/




Derek Strauss

Derek Strauss's picture

When we come to Church, we are appearing before God, and here we should definitely look our best. Not for others but for God. At all other times we should dress "appropriately" - in a manner that fits the circumstances. There is a lot of personal choice here and we must ask God for wisdom. The way we dress should never cause others to be offended so we must be mindful of that when dressing.




dziwczyna

dziwczyna's picture

I've seen about 2 other articles on dress in the past year, and most people responding by comments have been really defensive about their attire.

I've been to some poor countries and have seen people dressed very appropriately and elegantly for church. You don't have to be rich to dress up!




Webelieve

Webelieve's picture

I marvel at the comments this article has received. Any comments to that? How is our 'heart' dressed? Dress from inside out. Clean inside; clean outside. Shalom.




carolynne

carolynne's picture

i think the point is to be modest decent and simple,women especially should be careful with their outward looks.lest they cause others to fall.




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello sly5019,
My experience 42 years ago (when I was a young man) was different.
The minister said to look "clean & neat" & down the road, when I could afford it, maybe I could buy a suit or wear my sport coat. There was no pressure at all except to look "clean & neat."

Different people have different experiences & I am personally sorry if you had a bad one when you came to Services. Maybe that was a test (by our Father in heaven) to see how you would react. Those things happen.

Please continue to believe that what is in your heart & mind IS really important. And what is in them should come from God's Word & Spirit.




shirlee10

shirlee10's picture

Hi,

The Sermon on the Mount was given to us for an understanding on the importance of all things which is in Christ. Wearing a nice suit, wool overcoat, shiny shoes begs the question ‘Would you Really want to see yourself in them?’ .....
Raiment’s, Garments, etc.... When Jesus gave this sermon he earnestly warns the disciples from the distracting nature of all things in our brutish bodies;;; I believe these things are important in the Kingdom of God.... 'Therefore no thoughts for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil therefore...
The Lord commands us to take no though about the things of this world, this is very hard when starting out in life, and challenging when raising children, he is the Lawgiver and has Sovereignty in our hearts. There is no dress code for this world, we are given free will because of Mans first sin, this choice to choose the clothes we wear, but there is a thought concerning the things of this life which is Lawful and carries the duty to be virtuous and modest when choices are made.

Our Lives are in the hands of God, he can lengthen and shorten it as he pleases... He says take no thought for the morrow... Be not solicitous for the future, let us comfort our own souls knowing Christ is in our Hearts and sets us free from the cares of this world; having anxious thoughts about people we meet in waiting areas, who are dressed in fine linen, dressed as ambassadors for the expression of their own pleasures do not impress Christ of Gods Kingdom... Just understand the true value of the present things, he made all things.... and all things speaks for itself.. Be blessed in knowing that these things.. shiny shoes, suits, and woollen coats are inferior to Gods Kingdom for our bodies are ornaments to delight of God as he made us in his own image.

Nice Blog.




bible_warrior

bible_warrior's picture

I am appalled at the amount of negative comments that this post has received. The author even wrote "We know that God looks at the heart, and that is what is most important." and yet people choose to attack her and this post. This is certainly not a very christian way to get your point across or to give constructive criticism.

Anyway, thank you Janet for the time and effort that you have put into this post. We can all see that you are passionate about this subject and rightly so, this is in an important thing to consider because we do in fact represent God in everything we do, including what we wear. The way that we dress, whether we like it or not, will be the first impression that people have on us. Do we want to give off the impression that we care and respect our temple, or that we don't care about our appearance? Proverbs tells us that a good name is to be chosen rather than riches, I put to you all that our name may simply be made by our appearance.

Thank you so much for putting this together and all of your other blogs. I know how much motivation, effort and time it takes to write a blog post. Don't let these comments discourage you, you are doing the body a favor and we love you for it! Stay strong and positive.




DBurchard

DBurchard's picture

Wow! What a great post!
I have just started to dress up each day, wearing a suit and a tie. It really does make a large impact on your attitude, the attitude of others, and the standards of those around you. I think that there is so much power in the way you present yourself to others, including the way you present your outward appearance. It is sad to see all of the defensive comments, but I am sure that they mean well. There certainly should be a balance on how much value you place on your outward appearance, because God does indeed does look at the heart, as stated in this post.
Thank you for this inspiring post, we can all work harder to raise the standards of this world that we live in :D




PosNotNeg

PosNotNeg's picture

You are so right! I have never really placed a high priority on my dress, or my outward appearance. I have always thought more along the lines of some of these comments, but you are right, our appearance really does matter! Thank you Author for your contribution and thoughts. You've inspired me to dress up from now on and not just for church!




Tulisile

Tulisile's picture

but he definately dd nt mean ppl should neglect the outside appearance (neatnes n cleanlines), just that the outside should nt b a priority nor concern as God takes care to provide for it. bt a persn shuld b concerned doing good n giving love.




Benbalfour

Benbalfour's picture

1 Samuel:16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”



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