“Wherever you go, represent Jesus.”
I heard this statement at a ladies meeting I attended recently. The speaker went on to say that as daughters of God, we should be intentional about how we represent Him. As we run errands, perform daily tasks, attend school and go to our jobs, we should be aware that how we look reflects Jesus to everyone else.
As I listened, I was reminded that representing Jesus in our attire involves more than just modesty, which is what we often focus on. Modesty is essential, but you can dress modestly and still not be a good reflection of Jesus.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us…” (II Corinthians 5:20 NIV)
In II Corinthians, Paul tells us that Jesus came to reconcile the world to God and that He has committed this message of reconciliation to Christians. Paul refers to Christians as “ambassadors.” An ambassador is someone who appears before an entity or foreign government as a representative of his own government or organization. As Christian women, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20-21), so as we live and walk on this earth, we are literally ambassadors of an heavenly kingdom.
Have you ever seen a sloppy, unkempt ambassador? It’s unlikely; ambassadors put their best face forward. They make every effort to dress and behave in a manner that reflects well on their nation or organization.
I’m not saying that as Christian ladies we must look prim and polished every second of our lives. I am not advocating spending a fortune on a new wardrobe every season or pretending to be what we are not. Some women aren’t into fashion and style, and that’s okay. The Bible makes it clear that what’s in the heart matters far more than physical appearances. The Pharisees were immaculate, yet Jesus often rebuked them for hypocrisy. At the same time, however, the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was praised for making sure she and her family were dressed in “scarlet, fine linen, and purple.” Being a great ambassador demands a balance of presenting a positive image of godly beauty (like the virtuous woman) without letting your personal image become your god (like the Pharisees).
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Being mindful about reflecting Christ in our attire is a small step that can go a long way toward honoring God and representing Him.[/pullquote]
We should be real. But we should also have such a high sense of respect for God’s image that we think about how our actions and appearance affect the gospel. I have two toddlers most days (one my own and one I babysit), so I do realize that for some of us, the simple act of getting dressed to go to the grocery store takes effort! At the same time, being mindful about reflecting Christ in our attire is a small step that can go a long way toward honoring God and representing Him.
Obviously, there’s a big difference in intentionally dressing nice and intentionally dressing to draw attention to yourself. Christian ladies are not meant to sashay through life as if they are part of a perpetual fashion show. Instead, we are to live with the mindset “How can I represent Jesus to everyone who sees me today?”
The focus of this article is appearance, but it’s worth noting that our actions and behavior should represent God, as well. We should treat bank tellers, restaurant wait staff, and store clerks with respect — and not just the ones we like or the ones who are nice to us. No matter how many mistakes others make, no matter how inept or rude they may seem, they were created by God. Jesus died for them the same as He did for us, and He wants them to know that. If our attitudes are superior or rude, we are not representing Christ; we are obstructing the spread of the gospel.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. God knows that, and He forgives us and we should also forgive ourselves. But we should never use the sentiment “nobody’s perfect” to excuse our behavior when it doesn’t accurately represent the King of Kings.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, may we all rise to the challenge to be intentional about how we represent God in dress, in behavior, and in our interactions with others!
Is the face that I see in the mirror the one I want others to see?
Do I show in the way that I walk in my life the love that You’ve given to me?
My heart’s desire is to be like You in all that I do, all I am
Do they see Jesus in me? Do they recognize Your face?
Do I communicate Your love and Your grace?
Do I reflect who You are in the way I choose to be?
Do they see Jesus, Jesus in me?
Joy Williams — “Do They See Jesus in Me?”