Should Christians care about physical appearance?Question: "Should Christians care about physical appearance?"
Answer: Physical appearance is important to God in that it reveals the glory of His creative abilities. So we should appreciate the beauty God has given us as His most complex and amazing creation. God crafted each of us (Jeremiah 1:5) to look exactly as we do, for His own perfect reasons. Despite our very best efforts, man will never be able to come close to the beauty and majesty of God. Our very bodies were formed in His image. In ways we cannot understand, we reflect His own beauty. No human painting, sculpture, photograph, or sketch can approach the beauty of God. God places some value on appearances; if He did not, we would all look the same. It is not a wrong thing for us to notice and appreciate physical appearance as well.
But it should be remembered that God judges our hearts, not our physical appearance. It is the inner man that is an even greater creation. We have souls that will never be destroyed, that live on forever in heaven or hell. Our hearts, too, are capable of so many thoughts and feelings, reflections of the complexities of God. We should not fall into the trap of believing that our looks are to be a source of pride or envy. Our true beauty should come from inside, not from the fleshly beauty that the world judges us on. In 1 Peter 3:3-5, Peter tells wives that their “beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.”
Our outward appearance should not be our focus. If the reason we try to be the perfect weight, wear the best clothes, have facial treatments, etc., is to impress other people, then our physical appearance has become a matter of pride. We should be humbly aware of our appearance rather than acting to conform to the world’s standards. Matthew 23:12 says, "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." And James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
We must watch out for anything that draws us away from God, including the too-often extreme emphasis the world places on appearances. God does not want us to love the world or anything in it (1 John 2:15), and we are not to think as the world does (Romans 12:2). God has shown us His own amazing power and beauty and love in an incredibly diverse creation. We should be humble, not committing idolatry in worshiping the creation rather than the creator (Colossians 3:5).
Recommended Resource: A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
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