Time to address a problem that I’ve come up against a couple of times. Wax on, wax off.
Since as long as I can really remember, probably since secondary school, I’ve waxed my hair. Even when I had longish hair – looking like a mullet – I’d always spike up or across my fringe. Either that or just completely mess up my whole hair – for the “harry potter” look.
As I’ve grown, my hair has got more “respectable” and now my waxing looks “good” – at least until I look back at pictures of me now in 15 years’ time!
Nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Nothing wrong with not wanting to look silly. God made us all in His image, and so it’s not wrong to get some confidence from you’re appearance, and for the same reason it’s not wrong to try and look “good”. As ambassadors for Christ, we represent him. In this way my appearance can even be part of my witness. It’s not wrong intrinsically. UNLESS your appearance becomes an idol, or the source of confidence. OR God tells you to lay aside these things for a season (e.g. John the Baptist, Paul cutting off his hair for a vow or Samson not cutting his hair. List is pretty long – where God tells people to change their appearance/clothing/hair-du for reasons not totally clear!)
Anyway, what sparked this trail of thought? Good question. Two things. 1) I forgot my hair wax today. Result. Power-through the day? Shrug off any comments, and brave-face my way through any paranoid thoughts about what others were thinking about me? No. I popped into Tesco – adding another 20 minutes to my morning walk and bought a tub of wax – administering the beauty product in a rest-room on campus. 2) Scott, who met with me through my time at Uni, had a similar struggle with vanity and would occasionally “fast” from wax in hair.
Maybe, this incident, has let me hear God asking me to “fast” in a similar way.
My question to you, ‘what are the areas which you rely on for the source of confidence?’ Is God asking you to fast from it for a week, month, year, permanent. It’s a big deal – and a painful one – dethroning idols…But a necessary one for a disciple of Jesus.
I hope my seemingly-trivial, semi-pathetic battle with sin: 1) encourages you that God uses people like me. 2) challenges you to recognize (and deal with) the subtle idols in your life…