We are so appearance-obsessed in our culture, to the point that it is disturbing. If you don't look good or act a certain way, then you're not cool.
And being cool is an idol.
A literal idol.
I have to admit that I believe I struggle with this idol, and I never thought so. But if I don't, then why do I care so much if my hair "looks stupid" or if my pants "don't fit me right." As if I look like a dirty disheveled caveman whose pants won't stay up! Some days I think about it more than I think about God, I swear. Sometimes there is some tiny thing "wrong" with my appearance that causes me to feel ASHAMED of myself all day!!! I feel judged, not good enough to even go out in public. How can that be right? I *know* I'm not the only one who experiences this. We complain to each other about how we look, don't we? Like it's nagging at us and we feel the need to make an excuse for ourselves, so that the person we're with knows that we disapprove of the way we look, so they can't think that we are oblivious to the abomination that is our chipped nail polish.
You know why this is such a terrible blot on us? I already mentioned that it keeps our thoughts off of God, but it does so much more than just that. It keeps us shallow. We also become preoccupied with stereotypes about how other people groom themselves, or how they talk, behave, whatever. If I am hard on myself about something, you have to know that I'm hard on others about it. Because it becomes this thing about being good enough by my works or by who I have made myself. Today I was good because I took the time to shower and brush my teeth. Therefore, I am better than the person who hasn't showered in two days. But tomorrow when I wake up late and can't shower, I will be a stinky bad person.
I know I'm simplifying and that that example is random, but I'm trying to make the point that coolness is a judgment we make on ourselves or others. We decide something about a person in our head before we even speak to them. We determine worth based on something that has very little to do with character and the state of the heart.
I'm not sure what the remedy for this is yet, because it's not going to go away any time soon, unless we are suddenly in the middle of World War III and all we care about is survival. It's a matter of changing the way we think and consciously deciding not to base our worth or anyone elses on appearances, accessories or anything aside from what Christ did for them. He set the worth of every single human sky high, and it is wrong wrong wrong to rob anyone of that, especially ourselves.