A Shaved Head and the Repentant Sinner
It was a beautiful, Sunday afternoon in April. My family was driving home from church and I looked at my wife and said, “I think I’m going to shave my head.” We had been joking about this for quite a while, but this time, I was serious, and she knew it. “Okay,” she said, “Go for it!”
“My mom is going to freak, you know,” came my reply. And her’s, “Oh good! Let’s do it!” She meant no ill feelings, of course, just a bit of playful banter. So, I did it. After years of thick, wavy, brunette hair, I was now freshly shorn, like a sheep to the slaughter.
Six months later, I’ve decided to let it grow back. It was a nice change, and a bit of rebellion out of my system. It was a comfortable, cool look for summer, even. But it’s time to let it grow.
We live with sin and deal with it in much the same way that I dealt with my hair, and here’s what I’ve realized:
- It’s an impulse, and the temptation to do so is internal. Many times it’s a desire to do something drastic without really thinking about the consequences. I had been thinking about shaving my head for quite a while, but it took me a while to finally have the cajones to just do it without thinking. James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
- Sin is encouraged by outside forces, as well. My wife may well have known that I wouldn’t look quite right with a shaved head, but she nevertheless encouraged me to do it, perhaps because of her own rebellious desires. (I love you, Honey!) Romans 12:2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
- Some people call us out on it, but many people say nothing. Most of the people I know probably thought I looked ridiculous with a shaved head, but they didn’t say anything for fear of hurting my feelings or sounding too judgmental. However, if someone would have simply said what they were thinking, I may have decided to reevaluate much sooner than I did. Luke 17:3 says that we should call attention to sin: “So watch yourselves! If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.”
- We don’t realize how lost we are until we repent, and we must be lost in order to be found. The decision to let my hair grow back was a reaction to what I felt was the right thing to do, and I didn’t realize how much better I looked with hair until I started to let it grow back. Christ says in Luke 5:32: “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” This is not to say that we must sin so that we can repent in order to live under the power of Jesus Christ, but we must realize that we are sinful by our very nature in order to understand the transformative power of His atonement. Our response to this realization is confession. 1 John 1:8-9: “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
- It takes time, and sometimes it’s painful to confess and set things right, but it is worth it. I’ve already had several people compliment me on the little bit of hair that has already grown back. It’s just confirmation to me that I’ve made the right decision. Surround yourself with Godly people who will call you out when you have sinned, but also build you up when you are walking in the light. Hebrews 10:36: “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
I hope you have learned something from my hair, just as I have. And, just so you can visualize the transformation, here’s a quick look:
Looking forward to whatever’s next!