A Pushy and Loud Spirit
Ethan recently challenged me about the motivation behind wearing makeup, as a woman and as a Christian. Honestly, I can't find a Biblical argument in support of it. This certainly doesn't make the practice wrong, but it very likely means it is not best.
Interestingly, my makeup bag is in my car, which has been in the shop all week; the entire situation is very timely. I find myself asking these questions in the time I previously would have been applying makeup: Why do I think makeup makes me more attractive? More importantly, why do I want to be more attractive? This has little to do with the gentle and quiet spirit Peter exhorts women to possess, and much more to do with the adornments he warns against.
Adornments are most certainly a heart issue. I guess my question is: what isn't a heart issue?
There isn't anything inherently wrong with looking nice, but seeking approval from others with our looks ("selfies", borderline risque clothing, etc) smacks of misplaced priorities at minimum (and in some cases, worse).
In addition, I don't buy the argument that we should dispense of all non-Biblical practices as a defense of any practice that is not explicitly mentioned -- discretion is key. And conviction. Legalism is pretty useless in this context -- unless individuals feel convicted about the expense, time, and priorities spent on these practices there is no point to advising against them. If we are honest with ourselves, we likely spend much of our time and money on things that do not honor God. Makeup is a tiny battle in a big war.
From a Biblical standpoint, Christian women are advised against focus on appearance in multiple New Testament books (not to mention many Old Testament allegories comparing God's unfaithful people to decorated women) -- I Timothy 2 and I Peter 3, in the least.
The question remains: where is my heart? Am I trying to draw people to myself, or to God? What do I intend with this expense of resources that God has invested in my life? Am I willing to let Him change my priorities? Because honestly, that is the mark of a true believer. I want to live Kingdom priorities: in my heart and on my face. There is a better way to spend His time and money.