Beholding As In A Glass
But we all, with open [uncovered] face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord. – II Corinthians 3: 18
Have you ever looked closely at yourself in a mirror as you prepare to go out somewhere? We are careful that our hair is groomed properly, we are dressed appropriately, and that, overall, we look our very best. The above Scripture is actually talking about physical appearance and we all know what an important part this could play in our lives. But first, let’s study and rightly divide the above Scripture.
The word ‘glass’ is old English meaning mirror or looking glass. We can’t hide ourselves when looking in the mirror so that we can say that our face is uncovered or open. Remember when Moses’ face glowed so brightly that people could not look directly at him? That was the glory of the Lord upon Moses’ countenance. The more we become like Jesus Christ as a result of our renewed mind efforts, the more of a glow will be reflected in our face. That is what it means to be changed into the same image from glory to glory. Picture the face of Jesus Christ.
Again, this type of specific subject seems to be avoided throughout many Christian circles. God says we are His best so it is important that we look our best.
For we are his workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2: 10
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. – II Corinthians 5: 20
If you are called to be an ambassador for a country, you’re going to put on your best suit because you will be representing that country. Well, how about Jesus Christ? The Word says you are a representative for him. We often forget this simple truth. God has a few specific verses for women of God in this area. And remember, there is some truth to that cliché you surely have heard: ‘You never get a second chance to make a good first impression’. The following verses always amazed me as to how specific God is regarding the appearance of a woman of God.
In like manner [Likewise] also, that [the] women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. – I Timothy 2: 9, 10
God wants a woman of God to magnify the Christ in her with beautiful clothes. The word ‘sobriety’ means she should be discreet and dignified. Another more literal translation of verse nine (9) is that a woman of God should be beautifully cut out or carved. Her appearance alone should announce herself. God’s way with words can never be matched. And ladies, isn’t this a wonderful example to follow?
I have honestly believed that appearance should not be taken to an extreme, but the world puts appearance as a high priority. Believe me, God looks on the heart. But we have to live in this world and most people are a respecter of persons, while God is a respecter of conditions.
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. – James 2: 1
During my college days, I went on a six month internship with a State bureau referred to as Federal Audits. During the day, I was dressed in a 3-piece suit and carried around my briefcase. When I went into a restaurant, the waitress would usually approach me quickly and say, "Yes, sir, can I help you?" When I got out of work, I would go home, change into jeans and put on my Triumph motorcycle jacket and grab my black helmet and go for a ride. If I did stop at a restaurant, they heard me coming. I looked rather unkempt and my hair was a mess and I just appeared as a rough character. I was the same person as the guy earlier with the suit and briefcase! Now I would sit at the counter and notice that the waitress seemed to act as if I was invisible. Finally, she would hesitantly approach me and somewhat rudely take my order.
Sometimes you just have to go along with the social order and norms of this world. Yes, it is important to look your best. Why not? But the world sometimes takes it to an extreme.
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. – I Corinthians 7: 31
I always found this verse most interesting. At times, you need to use this world to accomplish your goals, but do not abuse it. If we do, we become like everyone else who rejects God and His Word. Never take advantage of people or try to deceive them and use the above Scripture as an excuse. It’s easy to pull the Word of God out of context. You should walk with wisdom striving for a balance in your renewed mind walk.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5: 15, 16
Poise and confidence are developed by conscious effort and work. Magnify your good qualities. Choose clothing that is appropriate, becoming and properly fitted. Always be well groomed. Keep your body clean and wear clean clothing (from the inside out), hair styled for you.
Here is something you may try to do. If you can picture yourself at your best, try to remember that image in your mind when you are around other people or anywhere. In my Bible, I have a note that says ‘beholding yourself continually as in a mirror’.
What you believe and feel in your heart is what you will reflect to others.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: -- Proverbs 23: 7a
I finally found this record in Genesis and I must share it with you. We are getting into minute details here but guess what? Attention to detail is the difference between success and failure.
Here was Joseph who was imprisoned by Pharaoh as recorded in Chapter 41. Pharaoh called for Joseph in a desperate attempt for someone to interpret his dream. Some of you may remember this record. Now watch what Joseph did before he appeared before Pharaoh.
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. – Genesis 41: 14
God put that part in the verse about Joseph shaving himself for a reason. Remember that the original God-breathed Word was perfect. Nothing was written by chance. I took an extensive Advanced Class that lasted for three weeks at one point in my study of God’s Word. This particular record was given much attention. We may think it is ok to go somewhere and not shave that day or change our clothes. But it makes a difference. Joseph wasn’t stupid – he may have gotten revelation from God to prepare in such a manner. It’s common sense that we just feel better when we are clean inside and out. Very often, when I am about to go somewhere, I remember this record and I stop to take the time to shave. It matters or God would not have put it in the verse.
Now I know what some of you may be thinking. ‘Oh, that’s a bunch of bull. It’s not that important.’ Well, wait, I’m not done. Don’t you think I myself questioned some points I mention here at some point in my life? Absolutely. Well, when I first heard the following, I had a difficult time with it.
If you take a shower every day, you will be healthier and will reflect the glory of the Lord even more so. Just listen to what I have to say. It isn’t as if we get noticeably dirty every day. But here’s a physiological fact that just might convince you to make sure you stay clean. In the first place, a shower at the beginning of the day is most invigorating and can help set your day, but here is what convinced me.
DID YOU KNOW that the skin, through the pores, eliminates about six (6) POUNDS of waste matter per day? All the other organs eliminate 2 to 3 lbs. per day. The skin actually renews itself every 27 days. Next time you don’t feel like showering in the morning, well, it’s ok. The next day you will have a build-up of about 12 lbs. of toxins to clean away instead of just 6 lbs.!!! This simple fact about toxins really startled me when I first learned it. I enjoy juicing fresh fruits and vegetables for many years now and I learned this fact while studying about juicing. Juicing allows live enzymes to enter my body as compared to store-bought products. All canned and bottled juices on store shelves are ‘dead’ – the life-giving enzymes were all killed to allow for shelf death (I mean life). Yes, V-8 too.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile [destroy] the temple of God, him shall God destroy [allow to be destroyed]; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. – I Corinthians 3: 16, 17
The word ‘defile’ is most interesting here. It means to spoil, corrupt or destroy; to bring into a worse state; to deprave. All born-again Christians, as a whole, make up the body of Christ, with Christ being the head.
And he [Jesus Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. – Colossians 1: 18
We make up the spiritual body of Christ. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. If we, as ambassadors for Jesus Christ allow our appearance to be depraved and continue to evolve into a worse state, it is a bad example for Christians as a whole. This teaching may appear trivial to some, but it is really very important. If you go for a job interview that God wants you to have, you now have a tool that gives you an advantage. Even though the other applicant may be more qualified, your appearance may give you an edge that makes the difference. In this world, that may very well get you the job. You have a tool now – one that you can use or abuse. Make the right choice. It is obviously God’s Will that you shine bright reflecting the glory of the Lord in your appearance and the overall way you conduct yourself.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [disappointed in his or her expectation]. – Romans 10: 11