Close Up – Change for Appearance Sake?

What is it?

I’ve shown this picture to several people. Some have said that it looks like muddy water. Maybe tar. Some say wood.

What is it?

We’ll get back to that.

For now, it is the opening image for a new blog series I’m calling “Close Up”. In each blog, we’ll take a look at a close-in view of a subject and see how it changes in light of the big picture.

Today we start with Change for Appearance Sake.

When I was a teenager, I hated haircuts. I don’t know if it was because of rebelliousness, laziness, or the fact that I hated strangers touching me. Maybe a little of each.

In college, I began to notice that people would make assumptions about me because of my hair. They expected that I would do drugs, party, or be less intelligent. I decided that I needed to update my look. I shaved the goatee and got my hair cut to a more average length.

Don’t get me wrong. I try to not judge people by their looks. But, let’s face it, appearances make a difference.

One thing I learned from Bible college is that I should dress to reach the people I want to influence.  If I show up at a senior center in cut-offs and t-shirt, most people there will tune me out.  Likewise, if I show up to a youth group in a suit and tie, I’ll be talking to a brick wall.

It’s a simple truth that appearances will affect how people view us.

So why the muddy water picture?

It’s not water but it was wet when I took the photo. And it illustrates another aspect of appearances.

 When I look at the staircase in our house I think, “It’s fine. The rails are sturdy and not super ugly. Sure, it might be dated it doesn’t matter.”

When I look at the bigger picture I see the difference this project will make when we go to sell the house when I retire. A few hundred dollars worth of new balusters and paint could add a couple thousand dollars in value. It also makes the house more pleasant to live in.

Appearance should never be the first factor in any major decision. But the big picture may bring into view the importance of appearance in a given situation.

Whether it’s for first impressions or a more pleasing, comfortable home, appearances do have worth.

Are there decisions in your life that involve appearance? I suggest that you don’t dismiss them just because appearances aren’t important. Rather, pray about it and make decisions based on all factors including appearance.

Oh yeah, that photo?

It’s a close up of the post at the top of our stairs, right after I painted it. It’s a work in progress but I think it’s looking good!

Don’t miss next week’s close up. We’ll have a little fun with story telling. I think you’ll enjoy it!

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