Shop ’til You Drop: Are You Consumed with Your Outward Appearance?
Guest Post by Michelle Carver, Broken is Beautiful Blog
I do not consider myself to be a trendy person. I like clothes, but I do not always like the latest trends. I think this has to do with my age. I feel like clothing trends are a coming of age sort of thing, something we gravitate towards before we figure out what our own style is.
What I have learned about myself is that I like to feel hip. I have always loved to shop and even have an excess of clothes, shoes, and purses.
I have not always had the luxury of being able to buy the latest trends because there was a time in our lives when money was extremely, and I mean extremely, limited. We barely had money to feed our mouths, much less buy new clothes.
I am living a life currently where I no longer have to worry about feeding my family, and I can afford to indulge in my shopping habits. I think, if my husband was writing this post, he would say overindulge.
Last summer at my church, the pastor talked about David’s heart. This really got me thinking about my love for clothes, shoes, and purses. I can agree that at times I overindulge, and that is what spoke to me the most during the message about David’s heart.
He pointed out that, as a society, we have placed increasingly value on outward appearances. He suggested that we take a quick browse on the Internet to see who has the most followers, and ask ourselves, what really have these famous people done to be famous?
The pastor then went back to talking about David, reminding us that David was “a man after God’s own heart.” David was a shepherd boy that no one ever suspected was going to be the next king. David was a a Biblical hero who had an inward desire for Jesus.
Did David make mistakes? Was he perfect all of the time? Of course not, and if you know more about the story of David, you know that David committed adultery and was was a murderer, but he was also a man after God’s own heart.
Ultimately, David was a man with a heart for Jesus. His outward sins (adultery & murder) and outward appearance (a young shepherd boy that nobody noticed) did not matter to Jesus. Rather, it was David’s heart that Jesus examined.
I know the story of David, and it’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible, but it is also a story that I so often overlook. I’ve heard it many times.
As I sat and listened, I felt convicted. I realized that I sometimes focus too much on my outward appearance and lose sight of my heart on the inside.
“So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (1 Samuel 16:12 NIV)
My tendency to try to “fix” myself through outward appearance and shopping needed to be evaluated. I asked myself why I like to shop so much. I dug deep for the answer.
Yes, it is ok to dress nice and like nice things. I am not debating that at all.
But if we lose sight of our inward appearance and heart, then that is a life filled with much sorrow because a heart that is far away from Jesus is painful.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
We need to pay far more attention to the heart because God looks at our faith and character not the name brand clothes that we are buying and wearing.
“He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Psalm 78:70-72 NIV
So my challenge to you is to examine your heart more than you examine your brand of clothes, shoes, or purses. Let your heart and your inward appearance drive you in life.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2 Chronicles 16: 9 NIV
What “heart” work could you do to change your inward appearance?