We are told that we should glorify God in all that we do or say. I think that all of us would like to be like Moses, whose face literally shone after his time on Mount Sinai when he saw the glory of God.
Yet most of us seem to concentrate more on our outer appearance, thinking that our image is bound up in stylish clothes, brand-name accessories, a perfect hairdo, and manicured nails.
Not long ago, I attended a women’s retreat along with 600 other women. They were of all ages and walks of life and from different denominations. Some were young with casual clothes, others, more mature, were dressed elegantly. They were all individuals, with different tastes in clothing, but all were friendly and loving and accepting of one another. Most were believers and glowed with the love of the Lord. Some Mennonites, though plainly attired and without makeup, wore caps like crowns on their heads and radiated the love of the Lord.
Of the main speakers, two impressed me. The first was a well-known author and speaker. Her clothes were in the latest style and as she gestured, her sparkling jewelry sent out shimmers when the lights hit on her rings and bracelets. Although she had a deeply spiritual message to share, her appearance outshone her words, and I found it difficult to concentrate on her message.
The other speaker, however, was dressed very ordinarily and looked understated. She seemed rather nervous and very vulnerable. Her personal testimony was heartfelt and drew her audience in. We listeners felt she was a personal friend; we could relate to her. She was not as profound as the other speaker in her theological teaching, but she obviously loved her Lord.
Later, the well-known speaker stood at a table autographing her books. Awed by her, the women buying her books noticed that she seemed aloof and unapproachable. The second woman was standing in another spot, besieged by women who were anxious to tell her how much they had been blessed by her message. Many of them hugged her warmly, and she hugged them back.
Back in my hotel room after the day’s messages, I kept reflecting on the lessons I had learned from these two speakers. Both were obviously believers who had a real ministry. But had the more successful one begun to look on her work for the Lord as more of a career than a ministry? As a writer of articles and a speaker myself (though on a much smaller scale), I was challenged by the relatively unknown speaker who was so humble and friendly.
I was reminded of the Scripture verse that warns, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not” (Jeremiah 45:5, KJV). I had often wished I could be an author of a Christian bestseller and have a huge speaking ministry. Seeing this young woman who was being so mightily used for the Lord, without expensive clothes or jewelry, made me ask, “Lord, help me to be small enough for You to use as she is being used!”
It is important for us as Christian women to reflect Christ, to be transparent, and to be approachable! For that is the image we should project, not that of a Christian superstar! The radiance of our love for others will give us a glow that no makeup, diamonds, or famous label clothing can provide! It doesn’t matter if our outreach is to crowds in an auditorium, or to women we see in the mall or market place. God can use each of us if we stay small enough for Him to use!