For this next sneak peek of Beyond Your Wardrobe, I am going to share an excerpt from chapter 5 - "It's What's Inside that Counts." My next post about the book will be when it is finally available. If you want to learn more, stay tuned to this blog!
One of the problems I see with the way modesty is addressed in many churches is that it is almost exclusively based on the clothes you wear. Although some churches get it right, others struggle with making it all about the rules without addressing your heart attitude. The truth is that attitude is everything when it comes to modesty. Most of us don’t think of that, but it remains true:
The way that you dress reflects the condition of your heart.
This concept really should make you think twice when you get dressed in the morning. Your outside reflects what’s happening inside your heart. This means that there may be times when a woman may be appropriately covered, but because she still has an unhealthy desire for attention, she has an immodest attitude. In moments when I encounter young women like this, it grieves me to see them reflecting the struggles of their hearts in their clothing choices. This is why it’s important to make sure your insides match your outsides.
Before we dive into the main passage for this chapter, I want to take a look at a story about when one of God’s prophets had to learn a lesson about physical beauty. Samuel would be the last of the judges that reigned over Israel when they were governed by a theocracy (letting God be their king with human judges being God’s spokesman), but the people insisted on having a king so that they could be like the nations around them. Samuel was upset that they wouldn’t listen to God, but God assured Samuel that it would be alright and that He would reveal the right man to Samuel. The man God chose was named Saul. Through a series of events, Saul and one of his father’s servants found themselves in the same town as Samuel and God revealed that this man was meant to be king. Samuel probably knew Saul was king material from the first time he looked at him. The Scriptures tell us that Saul was tall and handsome (1 Samuel 9:2). Anointing him probably seemed like a no-brainer. God said Saul would be the one to save Israel from the Philistines. It all sounded very promising.
However, it didn’t take very long for King Saul to stop listening to the Lord’s instruction. On more than one occasion, Saul only obeyed part of the Lord’s commands instead of all of them. He started to try to solve problems on his own and do things his way. After multiple offenses and warnings, Samuel declared that the Lord had rejected Saul as king and would choose another to take his place. Eventually, the Lord would send Samuel to see Jesse of Bethlehem to choose one of his sons to anoint as the next king of Israel. To make sure that Saul would not discover his plan, God told Samuel to invite Jesse and his sons to offer a sacrifice with him. As they were doing so, Samuel saw Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab. Samuel thought for sure that he would be the Lord’s anointed. But God said to him,
“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV)
At the end of the day, after seeing seven of Jesse’s sons, Samuel asked to see the youngest. When David arrived, straight from the fields with the herds, the Lord confirmed that he would be the Lord’s anointed.
I think it’s interesting to note that although David was described as having beautiful eyes, he was also described as being “ruddy,” or reddish, in appearance. I believe that David didn’t immediately strike Samuel’s eye as being king material, especially since Saul had been tall and handsome. I think that’s part of the reason that the Lord had to essentially tell Samuel, “I’m picking this man for his heart, not his appearance. Be prepared, because this guy might not be much to look at.”
We live in a world where we judge everyone and everything by external appearances. But in this story, we learn that God doesn’t judge a book by its cover. He cares more about our hearts being in line with His will than He does about our physical appearance. Saul might have been easy on the eyes, but he didn’t have his heart in line with the Lord. David, on the other hand, may not have been much to look at as a ruddy shepherd, but he had the heart willing to do what God asked of him. He later became remembered as a man after God’s own heart. Like David, if your heart is in the right place, that makes you beautiful to God, no matter what anyone else says. I believe that this is a lesson that we all need to learn...
Like what you read so far? Then make plans to order your copy of Beyond Your Wardrobe today! Preorder is available now for the ebook through any of the following links:
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