by Holy Host
The people of God should not be concerned with outward appearance but with inward convictions.
Tonight is the 84th annual Academy Awards ceremony, otherwise known as the Oscars.
You know how it will unfold…like it does every year. Not only will the event itself be a spectacle viewed by tens of millions of people around the globe on television, but the pre-event red carpet interviews will be spotlighted tonight as well and revisited on television and in print for weeks to come.
The questions and conversation on the red carpet will sway between light jovial banter to inquires about the filmmaker’s latest projects…but the topic that will reign supreme, as it does every single year, will be – attire.
Over and over the question will be asked; “Who are you wearing?” And the actors and actresses will be both willing and eager to answer.
In a profession, like acting, where at it’s best a skilled actor can reach deep into the interworking of human emotions and provoke complex questions regarding morals and ethics…doesn’t it seems silly to then ask…”who are you wearing?”
The church often maligns Hollywood and filmmakers, and that is certainly not my goal today. Filmmaking when done right is a powerful creative tool that can be used to teach, entertain and inspire.
What I do want to point out is how one can get lost in one’s own appearance and wrongfully exchange esthetics for actual character.
The fact that millions of people around the world will fixate on what an actor or actress will be wearing for the Academy Awards seems to say more about the people watching than it does Hollywood.
If it was because the world simply appreciated the talent, craftsmanship and artistry involved in fashion design, that is one thing, but I can assure you that is not the case…the world is just wrapped up more in appearances than real substance.
God knows it is a tendency of mankind to get caught up in outwardly adornments and it is mentioned often in scripture.
1 Peter 3:3-4
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
In the Old Testament, Samuel is reminded by God not to be taken in by the appearance of someone because God looks at what is on the inside, not what is on the outside.
1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
That is not to say you shouldn’t keep yourself in shape of take care of yourself. Physical exercise and being in shape is a wonderful thing but God wants your spiritual being to be fit as well.
1 Timothy 4:8
8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
This obsession with outer appearances isn’t just in the world but in the church as well. The religious leaders of my day, not unlike some religious leaders today, polish and adorn themselves and their churches on the outside…hiding moral deficits, unbiblical teachings and weaknesses on the inside…
s 25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Although, movies, paintings and other artist renderings of me make me look as if I stood out physically, even I didn’t have anything special about the way I looked…there was nothing particularly distinguishing about me in reality. The messianic prophecy of Isaiah 53:2 says of me: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Rather than being clothed and adorned in the things of the world, you should be clothed in the things of God…Colossians explains what that means…
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
These things cannot be purchased with money, as a matter of fact, the love of money can actually keep you from these things.
5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”
The Bible warns against trying to serve God and money.
13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
6 Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than the rich whose ways are perverse.
When you clothe yourself in the things that God cherishes like; compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, you will shine with a glory and righteousness that surpasses the glow of any garment or jewelry the world can offer.
Remember, you are not made in the image of Hollywood and the make-believe. You are not made in the image of worldly possessions. You are made in the image of God.
Who should you be wearing? You should be wearing God…
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.