The above clip is from a British comedy show called, "Keeping Up Appearances." My friend Les should like this. If I remember, she enjoys British comedy.
I haven't really planned this out, nor have I thought it out, so I apologize if this seems scattered and unorganized.
The phrase, "Keeping Up Appearances" seems to often have negative connotations. I was thinking about it while preparing for my high school reunion. I was thinking back to the people I hadn't seen in the past 20 years, as well as the people I had seen at the 10 year reunion. It is funny how an event like that makes people act. I mean, I haven't seen this one lady for YEARS! Why is important that she convince me that she can keep house better than June Cleaver, or that her hubby is at the top of his company? Why is important that I make sure that people know I WANT to stay home with my children and that I make an outstanding lemon cake?
It spreads through blogs, emails and Facebook, too. We just can't stand for someone to think that we aren't better....period.
I was talking to a good friend of mine about one such incident with a person. She asked, "Do you think that she does all that she says she does?" (Now, before anyone gets huffy, I have had this conversation with at least 2 different people concerning 2 different people. You might think you know who it is, but really, only 2 of you know of this conversation. If you don't say anything, nobody will know. ;) )
So, anyway, they asked if I thought that this woman had it all together the way she says. Um, in a word? NO! I mean first off, in one of these cases, I have seen evidence of the daily struggles, the normal life, that this woman lives....though she tries to shove that under the rug, so to speak. For the other case, just watching and listening (i.e. reading) showed cracks around the edges. In one case, you have all talk and little walk. In the other, you have some of the walk and a whole lot of stumbling.
Why do we do that? Why isn't it OK for someone to know that, despite the fact that I have cleaned off my counter for Making a Happy Home Monday once, that I have to clear off the counter about 3 times a week....and THAT is only because I don't want to do it for all 7 days.
I know of a lady who wouldn't buy generic soda because, "We just don't do that."
I mentioned my attempt at gardening once to a friend I was catching up with. I was immediately trumped by another person as to what she is about to do with the produce of her garden. I, personally, wasn't bragging. I hadn't had the chance, yet. No, I was just thrilled to death that I had something planted. But, the way she talked, you would think she had pooped her own fertilizer. LOL.....THAT is funny. But, it was hitting a bit below the belt. GET IT??? OMG'sh ROFLMBO!!!!!
OK, when is keeping up appearances good and necessary?
The answer is simple.
It is necessary, I think, when you are a Christian.
I'm not saying to keep up the wrong appearances. I'm not saying to brag about what you have going on. BUT, when you claim to be a Christian, you are being watched. Judged. Scrutinized. Everything is put under a microscope.
I'm not bitter. That is as it should be. You can't be a good witness if you only talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. I try, with God's help, to walk the way I should. It is hard in some....ok in MOST cases.
Let me give you 2 examples of what has happened to me in the past 6 weeks.
Drinking. I'm not talking about water, I'm talking about alcohol.
I don't think that drinking is a sin, per se. It depends on who you are, why you do it and how you act when done. I enjoy a few things....margaritas and Hot D@mn shots. BUT, I am on the worship team. We have been asked not to drink. Why? Because when I am in leadership and someone sees me with a drink in my hand, it doesn't necessarily set a good example. Let's take it further. If an alcoholic sees me, as a leader, with a drink in my hand, then I have mislead him/her. God tells us not to mislead our brother.
If I go somewhere and my hubby or my friend has a drink, that is fine by me. If I am in my home, with my hubby, and I choose to have a drink, that is fine. But, few of the people I come into contact with will ever see a drink in my hand. It is the appearance I choose to keep.
Another situation happened at the swimming pool at the Y. This little boy came up to me and my kids.....he looked vaguely familiar. But, remember, I was director for our church's Sunday School program (over 150 kids), teacher at a local school, and home room mom for 2 of my boys (getting to know all their classmates). I hadn't a clue where I knew him from.
Normally, when a wayward child attaches to me and mine, I would rather they just splash away and let me have my fun. I mean, really? I have to watch my own sweet angels, I'm not getting paid to watch your
AWWWWW......there is a certain appearance that goes with that. Hypocritical? Probably a little bit. I mean, as a Christian, I should have the same countenance in every situation. But, I am human and I often forget that people are watching and looking for certain behaviors and mess-ups.
It was a humbling moment, to be honest. It hit me that no matter what MY environment is, I need to wear my heart on my sleeve. That is the only way people can see the Jesus that I know is there.
And, that's all I've got to say about that.