I’ve decided to do a no makeup challenge for an unknown number of days, which I encourage you to try and do with me. The main point of this challenge is to become comfortable in my own skin. Makeup is great, don’t get me wrong. But if you go out in public without it, how comfortable are you? Like many, your answer is probably “not very” because it seems every girl has makeup on, the right clothes, or the perfect hair. How many of you have gone to church without makeup, with jeans on, with your tattoo showing, with your piercings, and gotten judgy looks? I know I have. I have a tattoo, I have piercings, I have jeans. I’ve gotten those “Eww” glances before. Matthew 7 talks about judging and how we are not supposed to judge. A story of a young lady named Karlie went to a Bible Study. She had (appropriate) holes in her jeans (Very cute outfit). And an older lady said that “People should come to ‘church’ in their best clothes”. What if their best clothes are dirty jeans with holes in them and a old tee-shirt with holes in it? What if they’re coming to church for the first time in their life? And Christians are judging them and making them not want to come back. I heard a story once of a former gang member that started to go to church. He accepted Jesus into his heart and as baptized. Which is great! However, everyone in church stopped welcoming him and even talking to him. He stopped coming. One day, he returned. The pastor asked “where have you been? We’ve missed you!”. The man said “I was expecting a brotherhood, to be welcomed. I felt more at home and loved in the gang than I did in the church”. That is not the way God intended the church to be. The church was meant to be a place for the broken to come and receive healing and for people to be who they are freely. For the Holy Spirit to work among the people. In Acts, it speaks of gatherings at people’s houses to worship Jesus. You can imagine that people travelled, their feet dirty, and probably not in their nicest clothes. They weren’t there to showcase the latest fashion, they were there to worship. That is the example that Paul left for the way the church should be. We should go to church (or a church function), not caring how you or others look, and just worship freely. “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4). No matter what, know that you are a beautiful creation. And you are loved. Remember to Love who you are. Whether your hair is straight or wildly curly. Whether you wear makeup or don’t. It’s okay to be you. So be you. Everyone else is taken.