|Mirror, mirror on the wall...|
It can be hard righteous living, with the freedom God has given
But we can live in the world and keep our sanity.
You might one day be a star, even drive a nice car,
But realize my friend it's all vanity.
- from the song "Overrated" by Sho Baraka
The following post is not a dig or a judgment against anyone, but simply an observation I find worthy of deeper thought and reflection.
When it comes to natural hair and beauty, how do we know when we've crossed the threshold between the land of interest and enthusiasm into a place of self-absorption and vanity? This question might not resonate with everyone, but for me as a Christian pressing to walk by faith daily, hourly, and even minute-by-minute at times, I need the "flesh check." I need to see if what I say and do really lines up with what I believe, otherwise I risk slowly fading into a place I never intended to be -- distant from God.
It's all about priorities and what I truly value. If I spend most of my time online looking at hair-related sites (or a myriad of other things), but not a lot of time in the Word, in prayer, loving others, doing the work and using the gifts as He so desires, then really... can I call Him my treasure and my true love? Even if I focus more time and energy on my relationship with my husband than on my relationship with God, I'm totally out of order. In fact, I'm breaking the first and greatest commandment.
Wow, I'm guilty, Lord... help me, Father.
Vanity, as expressed in the Bible and via a quick check with my concordance, has several meanings: emptiness, worthlessness, falsehood, vapour/breath (as in, "there for a moment, and then gone"), that which is unreal. It also can mean "wilderness" or "place of chaos." None of these traits are pleasing to God, who calls us as Christians to...
- Be filled by His Holy Spirit, not full of ourselves
- Speak and behave in ways which glorify God, because He values those who are godly
- Be guided by the Spirit of truth and keep our minds on what is true, just, honest, pure, lovely and admirable
Now, when do you draw the line?? When it consumes you! It is just like anything else. If all you can think about is hair, if all you can think about is styling it, etc, it is consuming you! This is why it is important for us to stay prayerful in our daily lives. If something is off, we will feel a check in the Holy Ghost. God will deal with us because we have the Holy Ghost. Keep in mind that, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1). If we are walking after the spirit, we won’t even mind the things of the flesh.
My husband and I just completed a 21-day fast, just for the two of us, in which we turned away from different things daily, including blogs on certain days, vlogs/streaming media on other days, mobile apps and games on other days, sweets/desserts, etc. We fast to separate ourselves from the world while also praying to draw closer to God. I can only speak for myself, but what an eye-opener for me... the days when I had to avoid my favorite hair-related sites were the absolute hardest. When I "turned away" from all the hair and beauty-related stuff, I began to realize just how much of my time was spent on it... and how little time I was spending with God.
I'm so thankful for His grace and mercy, because I NEED God, and I didn't know how much I missed Him until I purposefully took myself out of my everyday "stuff."