Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Keeping Up Appearances
A television program that our household enjoys upon occasion is a British sitcom called “Keeping Up Appearances”. It features about a woman named Hyacinth who is obsessed with presenting to the world every possible aspect of her life that suggests affluence while hiding anything that gives the appearance of being middle class. For her, it’s a full-time job. The show portrays one woman’s antics in breaking the First Commandment. Unfortunately, she’s applied herself to the wrong occupation.
For the Christian, keeping up appearances should be a full-time job. The difference between Christians and Hyacinth is that the appearances we keep should reflect on our character, not our financial or social position. Even though we are sinners at heart, we have been born again through Jesus Christ. This brings the obligation for us to endeavor to rid ourselves of any appearance of sin in our lives so others may see the light of Christ inside us. We owe Him at least that much.
Some people have very little concern for how their actions appear to others. New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has had multiple scandals originating from his sexting women. Not only is he unrepentant, his attitude comes across more as “So what if I did?” than “How can I gain your trust?” Weiner is Jewish, so we can’t expect him to keep up Christ-like appearances. However, reasonable morals appear to be beyond his capabilities.
In contrast, I have heard that Billy Graham has always refused to get into an elevator if the only other occupant is woman. He is willing to wait for an elevator that has multiple people or an empty one so there is never the appearance of any sexual wrongdoing. he Bible tells us to “flee from sin”, even if it’s just an encounter in an elevator (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Timothy 6:11). How much more we should avoid more blatant situations. Yet people often put themselves in situations that can be interpreted as having the appearance of sin.
Keeping up appearances is nothing new. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves to hide their nakedness. Abraham told Sarai to tell the Egyptians she was his sister instead of his wife to keep them from doing him harm. Jacob put on animal skins to trick his father Isaac by appearing to be his brother Esau. Esau changed the names of his wives to make them appear more Hebrew than the pagan Canaanites they were. Joseph’s brother’s slaughtered a goat and used its blood to make their father Jacob think Joseph had been killed by wild animals. Peter denied Christ three times so as not to appear to be the disciple he was.
“May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless” writes Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:22. As Christians we are called to exhibit self-control in every aspect of our lives. We should do this not just because we are called, but because we want to demonstrate the condition of our heart and the gratefulness of our souls for the gifts of forgiveness and salvation we receive through our Savior. Those who do not follow God’s normal ways lie in wait to criticize us for any indiscretion and are quick to highlight our hypocrisy. We owe it to God to do the best job we can in keeping up His standards.
Keeping up appearances should not be a burden, it should be a commitment and a lifestyle. It should be a normal expression or our joy in knowing the perfect One. It should be normal to demonstrate our love and obedience to the One who gives us everything we have. Your actions are a reflection of the Way the Bible calls you to live. You and your actions are the only version of the Bible some people will ever experience. Make sure you are keeping up appearances that Jesus Christ would approve.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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