According to a Marketwatch.com report, Americans spent a whopping $33.3B (yes, Billion) on cosmetics and other beauty-related items (creams, lotions) in 2010. If the average rate of expansion (6%/year) is applied, the corresponding figure for 2015 would be $44.6B!! That’s in the US alone, and doesn’t include money spent on gym memberships, diets, etc. The point is, we really value our appearance!
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not immune to the pressure of keeping up the appearances. I have hair trimmers, beard trimmers, a treadmill, about 6 bikes, a punching bag, 3 pair of boxing gloves, a Bowflex, several pair of running shoes, etc. I’m also careful about the way my house looks from the outside, that my church attendance is good, and that my wardrobe is reasonably in style. I get it; really I do!
Honestly, I just feel better when I’m active, and I will likely always be a proponent of moderate/balanced exercise and healthy eating. But, when I run across a passage like the following, I genuinely need to stop and ponder what Christ is saying,
“You hypocrites. You clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” (Matt 23:25-26)
Notice that Christ doesn’t say that it’s wrong to want the outside to be clean and presentable. But, He does say that many of us have things completely topsy-turvy. We tend to focus on the externals, when what really matters are things like our heart (motives, will, desires) and mind. If those things are right, the rest will take care of itself.
So, ask with yourself…where have you been focusing most of your time and energy – on your outside appearance, or your inside character? –Dave
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