Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1 Cor. 13.4
I’m glad that Christ can get us to the place where we do not have to look good all the time in our own eyes. Have you ever lived around people who continually had to keep a mask on? No matter what event happened, they had to come out of it looking better than everyone else involved. There’s no way to come to humility if you’re constantly concerned about yourself.
In the early 70s, I worked in Atlanta as a salesman for a large trucking firm. I had a boss who always had to look good in front of folks all the time. Once he was in our sales office talking with all the salesmen. He had a cup of coffee that he was holding about waist high, and the end of his tie was floating in his coffee. One of the salesmen noticed it and said, “Hey John, your tie is in your coffee.” The boss never looked at his cup and replied, “I know it,” and walked out of the room.
Many of us have a fetish about appearance. I’m not talking about clothing and external appearance, although that can be a part of it. I’m talking about wanting to impress other people all the time, refusing to lose in front of other people, choosing not to accept even second best.
Often we even become resentful toward relatives who make us look bad, and we decide we don’t want to be identified with them. What terrible bondage it is for us and for those we love when we have to look good at every social function and in every situation.
This explains Paul’s description of love as the person who does not have to boast and is not proud. How often we destroy priceless relationships by having to keep up our appearance when we ought to forget about ourselves.
Richard Loman is senior pastor at Mount Airy Wesleyan Church