Do people see the genuine you?
Or do they see the fake you?
Remember that appearances can be deceiving.

Appearances are everything to most honest people.
Those not honest have to resort to trickery and deceitfulness so their true colors are not exposed.
When one pretends to be something they are not, we call them a hypocrite; We call them a deceiver; We call them fake; Or any number of other things.
God does also.
Many people have an ugly side that they do not want exposed.
It could be a vice or an addiction.
Famous people do not want to disappoint their fans.
Sports figures know that many are looking up to them, so they keep their drug addictions hidden from the public.
Once they are exposed it causes shame, and possibly their downfall in the eyes of the public and from their own families.
Most people just want others to look upon them favorably.
Sometimes this is to fuel an ego trip they might be on.
Sometimes, it is because they take a responsibility seriously.

Whatever the reason, appearances are important.
They are also important to God.
One of the warnings parents always tell their children (if they really care about them) is that appearances are deceiving.
This is how most con artists operate.
This is how magicians perform their craft.
And this is how Satan gets a hold of a soul.
All by giving a false appearance.
Colossians 2:23: "These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence".

All error and false teaching begins with the appearance of being something good.
This is how deception works.
It makes people comfortable that following this doctrine will get them to heaven.
Jesus often spoke of the appearance of the Jewish leaders in His day.
Matthew 23:25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self indulgence".
And in verse 27, Jesus made the analogy of painting the tombs white and making them pretty, but they are still full of dead men's bones.
Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the “spiritual” leaders of the people.
In the Old Testament Jeremiah gave us a similar teaching:
Jeremiah 2:22 reads: "Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is before me' declares the Lord God".
Cleaning the outward does not clean the inward.
One can take a bath all day long, but if the inside is rotten, no soap can make it clean.
Proverbs 16:2 reads: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives".

Appearances can be deceiving.
A girl may wear clothing that is popular, and she thinks she looks pretty.
A guy just might see someone who is easy and loose.
While that may not be a girls intention, she should be aware that people are watching her clothing and her behavior.
People show pictures of themselves on social media all the time.
If you do that you can probably testify that many have made advances seeking more than friendship.
This come from the opposite and even the same sex.

We must be careful how we show ourselves to the world.
Do we demonstrate spirituality, or worldliness?
1 Timothy 2:9-10 “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly, and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness”.
Jewelry and hair styles are not as important as proper behavior.
We see enough ugly behavior in this world as it is.
We certainly do not want to give that to the world.

If we are going to be an influence to others to lead them to Christ, we need to be aware of our appearance.
The moment we are exposed as something different, our credibility is gone, and possibly so is the soul that was listening to you.
Our appearance comes in the form of dress, behavior, and actions.
Perhaps if more people considered how God looked at them, they would change their behavior and appearance to reflect a more godly lifestyle.

By Carey Scott

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