When I saw the influential person, I felt relieved and confident because I looked presentable. When I saw the old boss, who complimented me on how good I looked, I felt proud. Confidence, peace, pride (the good kind, not the kind that comes before a fall), all of these from being prepared in the appearance arena. Why not do this every day? Those are all emotions that build a person, even cause healing and freedom. Being prepared pays dividends.
I occasionally will curl my hair for work, but I’ll have stretches where it’s pulled back. Not that the pull back looks bad, but the curl looks better. Had I not curled my hair and had on a decent outfit, I would have walked away feeling the opposite of confidence, peace and pride. I would have felt this way because I know what I should do to accentuate my appearance, and being in the presence of these people without the accents would have exposed my laziness and/or mismanagement of time.
The P31 has no fear of the winter because everyone in her house has warm clothing. Fear is an emotion just like my confidence, peace and pride. The P31 had no fear because she was prepared for winter, she made sure her people had warm clothes, so she welcomed winter. When we are ill-prepared for a planned or even unplanned encounter, we walk away from it feeling defeated and condemned because we know we could have done a better job preparing.
Because I prepared my outward appearance that day, I embraced those encounters and walked away stronger. You can even look at this situation from another angle. Maybe I would not have come before those people that day if I was not prepared, and missed out on an opportunity for the Father to display me. He loves us so much that He would protect us from the shame of not being prepared. But in that, we miss out on opportunities to display ourselves and our worth. This can be applied to more than outward appearance. If you are a person of tardiness, or a person of short temperance, or a person that is living and breathing with any type of shortcoming (I’ll find you), there are times when you are not prepared. What we must take away from the P31 passage is that she knew a season was coming where extra protection was needed, she prepared for it. In my case, preparing my outward appearance protected me from exposure of my shortcomings (bad time management and laziness).
Not only did the warm clothing protect the P31’s family, it also gives them access. Others would have to remain indoors, but with warm clothing you can go out into the cold without being affected by the cold. When we are prepared, we can walk into situations without concern of shame or failure. So staying on our P’s and Q’s requires that we prepare in the areas where we typically come up short, so we can enter and exit situations with confidence, peace, and pride in ourselves (the good kind, not the kind that comes before a fall).
Reference: Proverbs 31:21