So many new Christians look up to the older Christians to find out how they should act and how they should look. Are they to dress in expensive clothing? Drive flashy cars? Live in luxury homes? Do they need these things to show they have faith? Is this what defines a Christian?Should they change the way they speak? The way they wear their hair? The foods they like to eat? With Christians coming from so many different cultures, this mindset can become a web of confusion if identity is limited to the world’s view of physical appearance. But the good news is that the Bible tells us exactly what we should look like!
Our appearance is manifested by what is in our heart! The words we speak and the things we do are a direct result of who we are in our heart. If we only try to contain our words and actions to show that we are great Christians, but under stress or anger the truth in our heart comes out, then the picture we have painted of ourselves is a lie.
God gives us His Spirit when we are saved, but salvation is only the beginning of being a Christian. We are saved and are no longer under the law of sin and death, but we can’t leave it there. We need to pursue the truth of the Lord so that we can be the person that God has called us to be. He took us out of the world because He loves us, but He’s also got a job for each and every one of us, and we won’t be prepared to do that unless we know Him, unless we study the Bible and know His truth. If we don’t, the old way of life will take over again, and our old habits and actions will be more dominant than our desire to live for Christ. So, the more we study the Scriptures and pray and worship God, the closer to God’s heart we become, and the further away from the world we get.
And as we continue to know the Lord, He reveals Himself to us more and more so that we can be like Him! And when we become like Him, then people will look at us and know that we are Christians because we will look like Him. Our countenance will be peaceful and our eyes will sparkle with the joy of the Lord. Our words will speak of the things of God, and they will bring hope and peace to those around us. Our actions will resemble those of Christ because they will be done through the strength of His Holy Spirit in us. And our passions will be like those of Jesus because our heart will be one with His, and we will strive to do His will and to bring glory to His name.
Everything that we say and do will reveal the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit in us. We will be filled with love and joy, peace and temperance, longsuffering and patience, faith and meekness, goodness and kindness. These virtues will be evident in everything we do and say. They will define us! They will be genuine! They will come from the heart! And they will be what people see when they look at us!
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23
If we are in a store and see a beautiful woman, we might think to ourselves that she is beautiful, based only on her physical appearance. But if her words are profane and destructive; if she constantly screams at her child and mistreats him; if she lets a door slam in an elderly person’s face; if she flaunts’s her scarcely covered body at every male that passes by; and if she curses people who get in her way, then would we still think that she’s beautiful? Not likely. The ugliness in her heart would soon override any beauty that her physical body tried to reveal. Her appearance would be anything but beautiful.
On the other hand, if we saw a woman who at first sight was not that physically beautiful and who did not dress in the latest flaunting fashions, but who showed compassion to others, helped those around her without being asked, treated others better than herself and displayed peace and patience and love to everyone around her, we would see the beauty of God in her. And that beauty would shine!
Christians will be recognized by the fruits of God’s Spirit in them. Our physical appearances will all be different because of our cultural backgrounds, but our hearts will all shine forth with a Godly beauty because we will all be like Jesus! And while people of this world look for the outer beauty, and make all their decisions in life based on that deception, it will be the beauty of God inside us that shines through and defines us as Christians.
An expensive lifestyle of material possessions does not promote the beauty of God, nor does it define who a Christian is; it hides it! But every Christian who flows in the fruit of the Holy Spirit will radiate a Godly beauty! When Jesus lives through us, those of the world who are looking for Jesus will see Him in us.
- I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.—Galatians 2:20 NKJV
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Stay blessed… ronnie