Matthew 3:4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Christ. In this chapter Matthew described John’s manner of life. He describes his clothes, his food and his lifestyle. They were all simple. They reflected how he lived, where he lived, who he was trying to reach and what was important to him. He lived in an appropriate manner consistent with his message and consistent with Jesus’ message. He was different and unique but was humble and remained true to his mission.
I must adapt to the situation that God has put me in. John the Baptist was not extravagant or outwardly egotistical. He was humble and lived a lifestyle that suited his message. He was consistent in his manner and never wavered which attracted followers. People came out to see him. I can be different than non –believers but I must be believable. If my dress, message, manner put people off, I cannot expect to win over followers and attract them to Christ. I do not have to bow to commercialism or bend any Christian values but I do need to consider my audience.
Image isn’t everything but it is important. What is the image that God wants me to project?
Lifestyle, including clothes and even the food you eat, demonstrate who you are and, in some cases, what your purpose is. Can I talk about the need to save money and then go eat a steak and lobster dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse? I can but no one that heard me or saw me would believe I was serious about my message. Actions speak louder than words and I should remember that I can’t ask something of someone without being willing to do the same.
John the Baptist lived a simple life. He preached a simple message: Repent. His clothes were not fancy. They were simple and strong. His food was not fancy, it was simple and sustained him. He knew the importance of the message. He knew the importance of actions mirroring his words. I need to identify the areas of my life that don’t match my message.
Sometimes I get caught up in the world’s view. Help me to remember the simple things. Help me to understand my audience and allow me to reach them with my words and actions.