Should we judge a book by it's cover? Should we judge a person by their outward appearance, their first impression, their initial defining characteristics?
I believe we should and to venture beyond that I would definitely say that as a society and even as a body of believers we do. We judge our pastor by the way he dresses and by the way he shakes our hand and greets us after church. We judge our employees by the way they present themselves to represent our business. And we judge our friends to decide with whom we might like to make acquaintance with and get to know better.
This cover, this reputation thing is important. Psychology says that in the first three minutes of meeting someone people decide whether or not they would like to get to know you better. Thus if we are trying to reflect God's glory, we must scrutinize whether our first three minutes show the love of Christ.
Of course the most important thing is the heart. This is Biblical and this is what God looks at to judge (1 Samuel 16:7). Yet how can we see each others' hearts? Are not the words of our mouths and the look in our eyes reflections of our hearts and inner most souls? Love is manifested by actions and good intentions will never be enough in Christ's kingdom; our hearts are reflected by the way we live (Proverbs 27:19).
So should we judge others? I would venture to say that some judgement is necessary yet as Christians we should strive to look beyond outward appearances and look at the hearts.
Should it not be our personal goals to not judge other people by their covers yet to live in such a way that someone could judge us by ours and meet Jesus face to face in disguise? Wouldn't this be beauty- the ultimate witness is the one whom does not shout Jesus with his mouth nor wear the canvassing t shirt or goody two shoes sticker yet manifests a captivating character that draws in people by love and shows them a glimpse of a greater God?
When I was younger I believed that makeup and frivolous time doing hair and dressing up was an activity that displeased God and was vain. I thought this art of femininity was not necessary and that as Christians we should solely be focused on our inward thoughts and personality. Yet as I have matured, I have learned that Christ created beauty and is beautiful and pure. Whether it is right or not, society places a high value on external appearances. People are drawn to clean, beautiful, joyful people so I believe that women in particular can witness to the beauty and purity of Jesus' character by the way they dress and act (which are often judged by first appearances).
I don't believe this means that women need to wear, or should wear makeup all the time. I know far too many girls who look and feel like a ghost when they take their makeup off because they wear it so much that is their identity and security. I think this is sad and believe that God created individuals uniquely beautiful in His own image and that Christ wants us to feel secure in the body He has given us. What I do believe is that we need to recognize that as Christians the most powerful way to witness may not be the words we say but in the way people perceive us and if they see love written on our arms and shining thru our eyes.
2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors as though God we're making his appeal through us.