Is it a sin to wear makeup? Is it a sin for women to wear pants? Is it a sin to play hopscotch on a Tuesday? Ridiculous, I know, but there are religious people dead set against women wearing makeup or pants.
In Christianity, there are only two resources from which sinful things are defined, the Bible, which is God’s word, and our relationship with God’s Holy Spirit. Therefore, to know whether or not something is a sin, we must look to what the Bible says and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Here is what the Bible says about makeup: Esther spent a year putting oils and cosmetics on herself as a beauty treatment to prepare for her meeting with the King (Esther chapter 2). Peter said that you shouldn’t let your outer beauty define who you are but that your beauty should come from your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:4).
In Matthew chapter 23 Jesus tells his audience that sin comes from within a person’s heart and not from what’s on the outside.
So the Bible clearly shows that wearing makeup is not a sin. But there’s a catch.
What about the teen girl whose parents have told her she’s not allowed to wear makeup? The Bible does say in Ephesians 6:1 that children are to obey their parents. So, if that teen arrives at school not wearing makeup, but quickly hurries to the restroom immediately after getting off the bus so that she can put on all her makeup, she sins. Her sin, however, is not that she’s wearing makeup. Her sin is that she is disobeying her parents.
While the Bible is God’s general will for all people on the Earth, the Holy Spirit offers us guidance on an individual and personal level. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the Bible, but the Holy Spirit often gives us guidance on issues that are not mentioned in the Bible.
For example, denim jeans were invented by Levi Strauss in 1873, so it’s obvious that women wearing jeans is not mentioned in the Bible. Now let’s say, hypothetically, that Suzy takes great pride in her own beauty and enjoys wearing tight blue jeans so that she can show off the shape of her body. Let’s also say, hypothetically, that one day she becomes a follower of Jesus Christ and is filled with the Holy Spirit. At that time the Holy Spirit speaks into her soul and convicts her about her pride in wearing her tight blue jeans. She knows in her heart that the Holy Spirit is telling her to stop wearing those jeans. So for her, wearing blue jeans becomes a sin. Not because there’s something sinful about jeans, but because there’s something sinful about pride.
(photo credit: flickr creative commons, Super macro pink and orange eyeshadow on a green eye. Pumpkincat210’s photo stream.)