There has been an ongoing debate in my mind: is it better to look pretty and smell good, or do the very opposite? In the Bible, there are certainly people called to do both, however, the first disciples in the New Testament certainly smelled bad, looked bad, and didn’t get too much sleep. In the book of Ruth, Naomi tells Ruth to get all dressed up and smell good when she goes out to pick wheat so that a man will marry her-and it works! But we’re living in a New Testament world, right? And Jesus even rebukes the Pharisees for cleansing the outside of themselves without cleansing the inside. (Matthew 23:25-26)
Awareness without conformity
Certainly, smelling bad, looking bad, and not staying up to date on fashion would be less worldly. However, in this increasingly worldly culture, that might be a bad idea. Obviously, not many of us want to be around someone that doesn’t shower, dress well, and look well, even if they are on fire for Christ. This is a grave misfortune, but it’s engrained in our culture’s minds.
We have to, therefore, look at the culture and be aware of it without being conformed to it (Romans 12:2) in order to reach more people in Christ’s name (1 Corinthians 9:20-23). Certainly, in our sinful nature, many of us don’t like to listen to people we can’t relate to. Therefore, it’s good to have a variety of people in the pulpit!(ie Fat, skinny, young, tall, short, and sports(and other hobbies) lovers)
Natural or practical?
Sometimes, we have to make a choice: natural deodorant or regular(aluminum filled) deodorant? Aluminum filled is the only kind that smells good and supplies anti perspirent, a very vital protectant for some people with sweat glands that only exist in their arm pits… Based on research, we know that aluminum deodorant (ie most deodorants-anything anti perspirent) causes people to be more prone to breast cancer (slightly). Since I sweat up in there, I decided to go against what was ‘healthier’ for me so that I could relate and talk to people comfortably. Chances are I’m not gonna get breast cancer as a guy..especially since I eat healthy and exercise-which is most of the battle.
Social Health > ‘Health’
Most assuredly, to an extent, social health is above other kinds of health-especially in a fellowship aspect! If you don’t feel comfortable around people (which is even more important in being a vessel for the Spirit to work through you than being diet/exercise healthy), it’s not worth it! (See blog post: https://connordefehr.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/god-and-nutrition-pt-iii-what-god-can-do-what-we-can-do/ ) Certainly, Jesus wants our hearts to look pretty and smell good more than our outer self. (Matt 23:25-26)
New King James Version (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
1 Corinthians 9:20-23
New King James Version (NKJV)
20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law,[a] that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God,[b] but under law toward Christ[c]), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as[d] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”