May 27, 2017

Dress, Appearance, Impression

By Larry Ray Hafley

Your dress does give an impression of you. It may not always be fair or right, but it does say something about you. Joseph thought so. Jordan thinks so. God says so.

In a cover article in Time Magazine (June 22, 1998), the following snippet concerning Michael Jordan appeared:

The 15 seconds it takes for him to go from the elevator to the bus is the only time in (his fans’) lives that they would see him. Jordan wants those 15 seconds to be dignified. Because he knows forever those will be the 15 seconds that they saw Michael Jordan. (Columnist Bob Greene on how Jordan dons a suit and tie for the brief walk through the hotel lobby out to the bus taking him to a game.)

For good or ill, how you dress, your appearance, makes an impression on other people. Michael Jordan knows it. So does Dennis Rodman, his “sideshow-freak” teammate. Why else do you suppose Rodman dresses as he does? He knows it makes an impression. He does not care. Jordan knows it makes an impression. He cares. Do you?

No, we are not suggesting that you need to “make a fashion statement” in order to impress people. However, we do need to realize that the way we dress says a lot about us. Again, if you doubt it, compare Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman!

When Joseph was summoned out of the prison where he was held and was taken into the presence of the great  Pharaoh (or king) of Egypt, the Bible says, “When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh” (Gen. 41:14). Joseph realized that prison garb is not the proper attire in which to meet the king! Is there a lesson in there for us?

There is no dress code for scriptural worship. Indeed, some have served the Lord in scant attire, dirty clothes, and nakedness brought on by deprivation, poverty, and persecution (2 Cor. 11:27; Heb. 11:37; Jas. 2:2). Those unfortunate and unavoidable conditions are no excuse for us to see how grungy and unkempt we can be when we serve the Lord.

Women know how to dress when they want to express virtue or incite lust (Gen. 38:14, 15; Prov. 7:10; Est. 1:11; 1 Pet. 3:1-4). Men know how to dress to lay bricks, hunt deer, or meet the bank president when applying for a loan. Do we know how to dress to exemplify modesty, dignity, and integrity as we serve God? Apparently some do not, for there has been a gradual lessening of standards of dress in our society. Schools and business offices have been over- taken by slovenliness if not outright sloppy indecency. Some churches are not far behind. Crude “T” shirts, shorts, ragged, purposely torn jeans, and immodestly slit dresses are the rage in some houses of worship. Why are the voices of modesty and appropriate behavior not raised in holy pro- test against all such descents into depraved dress (Phil. 4:5; Tit. 2:12)? Probably those voices are not heard because such clothing is the product of homes where such despicable dress has never been challenged or questioned.

Your dress does give an impression of you. It may not always be fair or right, but it does say something about you. Joseph thought so. Jordan thinks so. God says so (Phil. 1:27; 1 Tim. 2:9; 4:12; Tit. 2:4, 5, 7; 1 Pet. 3:1-4).

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