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Dressing for the Glory of God
One word sums up Jesus’s picture of the lovely Christian: simplicity. As Jesus spoke on the Mount, He reached over and plucked a simple flower. He looked deep into its throat and saw varying hues and intensities, an exact form, perfect lines. And He told the people that Solomon in all his extravagant, impressive robes could not begin to express the loveliness of that simple wildflower.
Then Jesus gave one of His “enabling” promises. “Shall He not much more clothe you?”1 God is much more interested in you and me than in the flowers of the field. He takes care of their design and needs. God promises to provide for our clothing, not extravagantly, but with simplicity and adequacy.
Sometimes God provides through unexpected gifts of things we could never afford for ourselves; sometimes He’ll lead us to a marvelous sale; sometimes He gives the ability to sew a new garment or renovate a hand-me-down; and sometimes He even helps our clothes last almost as long as the Israelites’ did!2 God does provide, and every gift needs to be acknowledged as coming directly from Him, the author of all good things!
Thinking of using cosmetics? The principle of simplicity is important here, too. First, we need to remember that the Creator made us with our own special hues and coloring. Healthful exercise in fresh air and sunshine brings color to our cheeks and luster to our hair. Those who make a practice of covering their skin with makeup actually block the development of natural color. The skin becomes sallow and white, the lips fade, and the eyes lose definition. We actually become more pale than if we had left off the coverings and allowed our Maker to paint us naturally. Still not convinced? Remember that men do not normally use cosmetics—and their color is just fine!
The girl who does not wear cosmetics never has to worry about harsh lighting, evening lighting, or fluorescent lighting. The weather will never mar her foundation or streak her blusher. She won’t leave lipstick on her glass or foundation on her collars. And, should a few tears flow, she won’t have to run to the rest room to clean up mascara mess on her cheeks. She is always herself. And who minds a few cheerful crinkles of happiness around the eyes or pleasant wrinkles around the mouth? It certainly is more healthy for the skin pores not to be consistently smothered.3
Allowing our natural beauty to shine through does not mean we must be dowdy. Being natural—ourselves—allows us to bubble over with joy and inner peace. Simple clothing and hairstyles, along with a God-painted face, have a loveliness that no artificialness in the world can ever equal. True, a woman clothed in simplicity may not catch the eye of every passing man. But if that bothers us, perhaps we need to ask ourselves why we crave such attention. Not having a high profile can be safer—both literally and spiritually.
As the old Shaker song reminds us:
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘Tis the gift to be free, ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.4
1. Matthew 6:30. 2. Deuteronomy 29:5. 3. “Many are ignorantly injuring their health and endangering their life by using cosmetics. They are robbing the cheeks of the glow of health, and then to supply the deficiency use cosmetics. When they become heated . . . the poison is absorbed by the pores of the skin, and is thrown into the blood” (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, October 17, 1871). 4. “Simple Gifts,” by Joseph Brackett, Jr., 1848.
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