Have you ever read the bible? I mean truly read through it and study things that are in it? I am always enamored by the people that God used in the Old Testament and the ones, in the New Testament, Jesus saw great potential in. I am reminded of how many kings throughout the Old Testament were to “represent God” well and still had a human side to them and messed up. I look at Peter, in the New Testament, a disciple handpicked by Jesus to “represent” him. What does Peter do? He pulls out a knife and was ready to kill someone to protect Christ, I would say in today’s society that is grounds for calling someone who claims to be a Christian, ungodly. How about the prostitute at the well that Jesus protected? After her incident at the well, she was going to represent Jesus. The bible does not talk about her anymore after that incident but she is human and perhaps may have had a hang up or two afterwards (that is my own two cents). If God used people like this throughout the scriptures to represent him and be his disciples, could it be that in all of their human nature that they may still let people down? Could it be that kings and princes and others adorned in the finest clothes and jewelry could have represented God? Absolutely, but the awesome thing is that God used normally ordinary people to represent his kingdom. Sure, there are strict commands to “take up your cross daily” and many others. I think we as Christians should try to do this daily and strive for that, but what happens when we don’t? What happens when we don’t fit the look? Does God tell us to get off his team?
I am reminded of a story I heard a few years back, of a church here in the state that removed one of it’s Sunday morning greeters because she was a rather large lady and did not represent the church well for a first time visitor. This sort of thing just does not register with me. I cannot seem to find one place in scripture where God was concerned with looks. But, because some churches can get caught up in a TBN mentality, we are so concerned about how someone looks or may represent the church. Now this lady, I am assuming was a dear lady and probably loved what she was doing. What kind of message are we sending people when churches are so concerned about looks?
If I have someone at our church who is saved and trying to live a life for Christ and Christ loves them and has forgiven them, why shouldn’t I? Fact of the matter is, there is not a week that goes by where at some point I do not represent Christ well. I thank God he does not speak to me in an audible voice and say, “You seem to like Dairy Queen blizzards too much, therefore you are to fat to preach.” When a church gets to the point where they worry more about how appearance represents their church than they do about actual ministry, beware.
I am reminded of a quote I heard from Jeanne Mayo when I attended her youth conference one year, “If we don’t have kids smoking outside before youth group, then we are not doing ministry.” If we don’t have people who are a little rough around the edges, are we doing ministry?
Who said something about man looks at the outward appearance but God……….?