“Real success is the product of honest living.”
As a child, whenever I left the house, mom would say to me, “Behave yourself. You have just one chance to make a first impression; so put your best foot forward.” I have followed that principle, and even now before I go out, I make sure I am well groomed. Except now, I take greater care to preparing my inner self, first.
As time progressed, I discovered that dressing to be received favorably by others is not as important as dressing to be received favorably by God. It occurred to me that most people are obsessed with what others think of them; so much, that they are willing to go to huge lengths just to appease people – most of whom they do not know.
Our country’s debt is an indication of this obsession to impress others. Most people buy large homes, and fancy cars, not because they need them, but because they want to impress their family, friends, and neighbors. They become identifiable by their position and their possessions. Then at the end of the day, when no one is around for them to impact with their possession of things, they are left alone with themselves. Moreover, if the truth is told, they are not that happy with themselves, for if they were, they would not have to keep padding their life with commodities to keep themselves comfortable.
Nevertheless, there is a remedy for contentment without accumulation. I have learned that if we seek first to please God, then we will automatically please those whom we come in contact with; not because of our clothing, or the type of car that we drive, but because Christ dwells with us, and in us. This does not mean that all who we meet will like us, but it does mean that we do not need to have the validation of people in order to be happy with ourselves.
The Bible teaches that we should strive daily to win people over with a pure conversation [not being pretentious], and not “…that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3: 3-4
Now before I leave the house, I make sure that my first impression to others is not just a well-groomed outer appearance, but that my persona overrides any outer defect that may be apparent to the eyes.
Daily we must put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved:
- Bowels of mercies – be affectionate to one another, full of compassion for all.
- Kindness – be known as a servant of God. Treat others, as you want to be treated.
- Humbleness of mind – think more highly of others than you do yourself, put others first. Be self-sacrificing.
- Meekness – be gentle; have a comforting temperament.
- Longsuffering – patiently endure in the face of provocation; practice self-restraint. Hope is birthed out of longsuffering, which produces faith.
- Forbearing one another – be patient towards other’s shortcomings, for we all have them.
- And, forgiving one another – love one another unconditionally.
As Christians, our inner adorning, should outshine our outer apparel, and reflect the character of Christ Jesus. Dress favorably always, but for the right reasons.