Let’s talk about what we see in our mind’s eye when we think of a Christian, or an Adventist. Let’s talk about floral prints, suits and ties, and leather Bible cases. Let’s talk about people with tattoos, mohawks, and purple hair. Let’s talk about something we never talk about.

Worldly World View

According to Forbes we are judged by our appearance in the workplace. Our experience tells us we are judged in the classroom, the courtroom, the grocery store. Our size, color, clothes, shoes, hair, and make-up are judged. We are judged by the world on the basis of our outward appearance. We sit in church with people who find your haircut distasteful so when you make a prayer request to get a job, someone says “I hope you pass your drug test.” These are real things that happen in Christian churches everyday. This is not how God judges us.

The Jesus Lens

If we are able to look beyond the world and look only to Jesus we will not have such a worldly view of our friends, family, strangers, neighbors, the world as a whole.

1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

It’s not in God’s nature to see the outward of anyone. If the Lord looks at the heart alone, and we by our nature look at the appearance of others, then it is our worldly nature that encourages it. As Christians we should reject worldly things, and cling to Jesus. Why, then, is it so hard to reject the judgement that we let ourselves make based on the looks of others?

Putting on Jesus Christ

It is our belief that makes us judge others—our belief that our relationship with God can be categorized by our outward works, clothes, style. It’s our self-focus that makes us judge others, not our focus on God. Paul warns us:

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:11-14)

I had a teacher in elementary school that would tell us to put on our “thinking caps” or “reading glasses” depending on what subject we were learning. As people our whole learning experience is to be more and more like Jesus—to not only be like Him, but to show Him to others. We can’t do this unless we turn off the world and tune into the Father. Make no provision for the flesh. The Word is very clear. Cast off the works of darkness…put on the armor of light. 

We can find confidence in our “appearance” to the world when we are wearing Christ. When we wear Jesus we wear Him in our heart, He fortifies our mind, and strengthens our Spirit. Can God’s love not withstand a crazy haircut? Can His Spirit not live in a person with a tattoo? Can His righteousness not cover our earthly bodies?

Finding Peace

Why do we judge others? For what are we searching? Camaraderie? Uniformity? Perfection?

When the world judges us it judges us based on a perfection it cannot know. Perfection is found in Jesus Christ alone, not in anything of the world. Colossians 3:14 says it best, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” When we wear Christ—when we wear LOVE— we are above this worldly view. When we wear our “Jesus glasses” we don’t see a man with a mohawk and think “he must be on drugs!” and we don’t see a young woman with pink hair and think “she must be rebellious!” We see everyone as a heart—a child Jesus loves, just like us.