In times past, I used to stress to my teenage children the importance of dressing appropriately when looking for a job. One of their arguments was that they should be evaluated based on their ability and character and not on their appearance. What my children were saying was right and it sounded good, but that’s just not the way things work. Whether we like it or not, people form much of their impression of us based on our physical appearance because they can’t see our heart. You see, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV).
This verse underscores the real challenge of making a fair assessment of a person. The true essence of a person is revealed by his heart and not by his appearance. But we are not God and cannot see a person’s heart. That’s why it does matter how we look.Recently, I want to a Best Buy store to look for an accessory for one of my mobile devices. All of the employees on the floor were busy helping other customers so I tried to find what I was looking for by myself. I felt just as lost as I could be. Anyway, this other customer, who apparently was just as lost as I was, walked up to me and began talking to me as if I was an employee and asking me for assistance. I told him I did not work there, but that I was impressed that he thought I did, when I was just as lost as he was. Perhaps it was how I was dressed that made him think I was an employee and not a lost customer.
On the other hand, I know of situations where a person has come in to be interviewed for a job, and inappropriate attire was the person’s undoing. Hear me when I say that your physical appearance does matter.Being a preacher, it would be hypocritical for me to even suggest that our outward appearance is more important than the content of our heart. I have met people who dress professionally and who are physically attractive but who have ugly and abrasive personalities. Then I know those whom society would regard as unattractive but who are most beautiful within. I would prefer to interact with the latter any day. My only point is that no matter how qualified you are, or how Christlike you may be, before people learn your heart, your physical appearance speaks, and people listen.
Copyright © 2013 by Frank King. All rights reserved.