Years ago, when I joined the United States Air Force, the first thing they did when I got to basic training was shave my head. Even after all these years, I remember standing in line with all the other guys in my flight, some of whom had extravagantly styled hair in myriad colors while others had very long hair. We were a very colorful bunch before we had our heads shaved. 

I remember how weird I looked with no hair. Yet, no one else had any hair, so it was okay. In fact, we all looked the same in our uniforms. After that initial surprise, I didn’t give my shaven head much thought until later in training when we were given leave. Suddenly, I felt out of place because I was walking around with practically no hair, and everyone else was normal. 

I’ve never been one to try and stand out. However, I remember getting my ears pierced in 1988 while still in the military. In fact, I got my ears pierced right before graduating from technical school, and I got a lot of abuse from other airmen because I wore earrings. Of course, I didn’t wear them in uniform, but that didn’t matter. My appearance was socially unacceptable to the norm that was the military. 

In Numbers, we read a verse that might seem innocuous.

To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. And so they will purify themselves (emphasis added).

Numbers 8:7 (NIV)

In this verse, the Levites are being consecrated for the firstborn of all the Israelites, so it doesn’t refer to men of any particular age. Therefore, all 22,000 Levites were to have their bodies fully shaven in addition to being washed and washing their clothes. Although this wouldn’t have been as big a deal to the Levitical children, it would have impacted the men more because they had beards. 

In those days, a man’s beard was a symbol. A symbol of piety, maturity, and strength, so to shave off their beards was a sacrifice. A sacrifice that would have caused every Levite who had a beard to stand out in the crowd of Israelites. 

Some people do whatever they can to stand out in society, while others would sooner die than stand out. Christians should stand out, not because of how we dress, but because we follow Christ. Indeed, Jesus had this to say about Christians. 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

The world is a dark place, and even a single flame shines brightly in the dark, so as you go through your day, don’t try blending in with the world. Be the light God created you to be, whether or not it’s “socially acceptable.”

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.