While I haven’t completely figured out the cause, I seem to be allergic to something in my life. On rare occasions – maybe once a year – my face will break out in hives. I don’t know what causes it, and it usually goes away after a short while, but it’s a little weird. I’ve never had a problem with secondary issues (like finding it difficult to breathe), but one day I was out with my wife, combining some shopping with a date, when I had the most severe case of hives that I can remember. My entire face was blotchy and red, and I looked like something out of a zombie movie. Frankly, I was embarrassed to be out in public, and so we re-adjusted our schedule to watch a movie matinee, allowing my face to return to “normal” (such as it was) while in a dark theater.
I’m glad that God is not ashamed of us because of our appearance. While our choice of clothing and how we take care of ourselves can speak to what is important to us, God doesn’t need us to be fashion plates in order to be part of His kingdom:
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!”
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:6-7 NLT
David’s older brother was pretty good looking, apparently. I don’t know if the women of that village found him attractive, but Eliab looked like “king material” (whatever that looks like) to Samuel. You can read more of this account at 1 Samuel 16:1-16, and find that Eliab’s kid brother David (who was neither a king nor a soldier at this time) was selected by God. No matter our age, appearance, skills, background, personality, experiences, or history, God can use us.
In the same way, though, we have no reason to be ashamed of the good news about Jesus. Even in cultures where the good news about Jesus is suppressed, mocked, marginalized, or overtly persecuted, the cure for the consequences of sin – both in this world, and in the age to come – is still good news.
Paul knew this, and was bold enough to write it in a letter to the believers in Romans:
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
Romans 1:16 NLT
There is no reason to hide the good news just because some do not find it attractive. Some people find the gospel’s requirement for full surrender to Jesus (even if He has a better life for them) to be distasteful. Others believe that it is uncool because it requires us to set aside our pride and a false belief that we are the center of the universe. Still, regardless of appearances, hearing the truth is still a matter of life and death for lost souls.
Finally, we do not want Jesus to be ashamed of us for things that He does care about. Our complexion and our clothing don’t matter to Him nearly as much as our heart and our attitude.
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:38 NLT
So, if you feel less attractive than others, or feel like it is “uncool” to share the truth about Jesus Christ, don’t just consider who you want to impress (hopefully God, rather than just people). Instead, consider the heart of God for those people who need to hear about the salvation that they can have – not just from the eternal penalty of their sins, but from at least some the self-inflicted pain that sin causes in our walk here on earth. Don’t let something superficial hold you back from being used by God to achieve His great goals!
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.