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Using the Bible IRL: Case #5

EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. The Bible has answers to just about any question we can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help us find what's best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was sent to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).

This blog series gives practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve life's daily problems. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Heidi's answer to the following question.

—Cat, 412teens Editor


Question: Is it sinful to have beautiful clothes that people compliment me on? If I like my clothes or appearance, does that mean I'm being sinful?

Answer by Cat:

Nice clothes are not sinful. Simply feeling confident about your appearance is not sinful. Sin happens in the heart—sins such as pride and idolatry. How can we tell if we're just feeling good about the way we look or if we've crossed into the realm of sinful motivations? One suggestion: Self-examination. Ask yourself some pointed questions and answer them honestly to help you determine if having nice clothes or being pleased with your appearance is causing you to sin in your heart.

  • Am I prideful or superior about the clothes I own? Do I believe my clothes are better than other people's clothes? (1 John 2:16; Proverbs 16:5)
  • Do I get my sense of self-worth from compliments and praise? If you don't receive a compliment on something you're proud of, do you get upset, frustrated, or angry? (Psalm 139:13-15; Luke 12:6-7)
  • Am I chasing likes and hearts on my social media? (Galatians 1:10)
  • Do I treat my appearance as an idol, spending more time/money on how I look outwardly than I spend on developing my internal, godly character? (Psalm 16:4; Psalm 135:15-18) NOTE: This is not to be confused with simply having a good feeling about your appearance. It's about where you place your attention MORE—on the outside or on the inside.

Jeremiah 17:10 says, "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." God is more concerned with what is happening in our hearts, our minds, and our motivations. If our "stuff" is getting in the way of the goal of becoming more Christlike, then that stuff probably needs to be pruned away. (See John 15:1-27.)

Have you found that your appearance and/or clothing has become something that you value more than God? Does having the latest makeup kit or the coolest shoes seem more important to you than maintaining and strengthening your faith and character? Do you desperately seek others' approval when you post pictures of yourself? If so, then those clothes or other items may indeed be causing you to sin.

Ask God to give you guidance on each item you question. Ask Him to help you change your attitude about it and/or give you guidance as to what to do with that item (James 1:5).

—Cat

#relatable?

Do you wonder sometimes if your possessions or others' approval of you or your stuff has become too important to you? How do you balance the pride you feel on any given day with a humility that keeps you from getting arrogant or haughty? What is another biblical principle that would work in this situation? Share your story in the comments below!

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By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org and loves to write novellas with local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her two kids, five socially awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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