Clothes-line preaching

Luke 20:46 (NKJV) Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts…

You don’t hear it much now a days, but there was a time that certain preachers were describes as “clothes-line preachers”.

This expression harks back to the day before dryers were a “necessity” and housewives would hang their washed laundry on a “cloths line” (usually in the back yard) to dry.

Clothes-line preachers were those preachers that made it a habit to instruct people (usually the women) about the kinds of clothes they ought to be putting on those clothes lines and, more importantly, on their body.

I have been reminded of those clothes line preachers recently as Sonja and I have moved into a new “home”. At first it was just a house but little by little Sonja began hanging our pictures and special memorabilia on the walls and sprinkling different little “doodads” around the house that are special to us and little by little the strange house we have moved into is turning into our home.

Of course the inward character of the house is extremely important. We can hang all kinds of pictures on the wall but if the integrity of the foundation is weak it will all come crashing down. (I get that).

But the outward appearance matters also. Having a floor that won’t cave in is good (very good), but being surrounded by our personal affects is what makes that floor worth walking on.

Maybe those old clothes-line preacher took things too far sometimes but they did have a point: Outward appearance matters.

The way you present yourself makes a statement about you. The way you dress, how you talk, good or bad manners, all these matter.

Even God understands this. God’s character has always been and will always be love, but when he made a public appearance in human flesh it made a world of difference.

The Son of God clothing himself in human flesh didn’t mean God loved us anymore, but it sure helped us to understand it more.

The same is true of you; the way you present yourself matters, it matters a lot.

  • The ONE THING for today: You do not exist to be cool, fashionable, sexy, or even comfortable; you exist to win people to Jesus Christ. Is the way you present yourself helping or hurting people’s chances to be won over?

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