Recently I got a haircut.
The importance of this to Sabbath Rest Ministries is in the story behind it. For 40 years off and on I have grown my hair long (past my shoulders) then got it all cut off (a crew cut for those that know what that it).
Back in the 1960s and 70s long hair was the style and popular.
It was a time of generational change, revolution from the norm and also called the Hippie movement. A lot of guys back then grew their hair long to make a statement and others just to go along with everyone else.
I never thought much about “my why” back then when I grew it long, but during the last 20 years I have gone back and forth with asking myself just why I was doing it.
Being in the Military for 9 years and having to always have relatively short hair I convince myself that growing it long was a sign of my freedom.
Then when I got into my religious stage I convinced myself that is was to be a spiritual Nazarite and that somehow that would make me more righteous then all those normal short hair guys. The problem with that was that scriptures show that not only did Samson’s long hair get him into trouble (remember Delilah and those pesky Philistines?), but it also got King David’s son Absalom killed.
Then there is also 1 Corinthians 11:14 where the Apostle Paul says it is a shame for a man to have long hair.
Now – I want to stop right here and say I am not judging any man that has hair long hair. I am not going to debate how long is long or that a lot of paintings of Jesus portray him with long hair – those subjects can be saved for another day and a different Blog.
I am sharing my story to relay how I came to Peace & Rest
“Shalom” with this issue in my own life.
As a follower of Jesus the Christ, my desire is to obey Him as best I can to please Him and Father God because I love them.
I did have the inner debates mentioned above and Two Major things throughout the last 20 years kept coming up.
The First was in 1 Corinthians 11: 16 where Paul says, “But if anyone wants to argue about this, all I can say is that we have no other custom than this, and all the churches of God feel the same way about it.”
To me this means: No matter what other reasons or arguments I may come up with, the Church’s policy is short hair for men.
The Second and equally maybe even more important thing was that I kept hearing the question inside me asking, “Why are you really wanting long hair?”
You see for me – a big thing for doing anything is the reason behind it – “The Why.”
I love causes and if I have one I think is worthy or justified I am unmovable.
Turns out after all these years the reason for me was a heart issue. One of rebellion, hurt, spite and hate.
I already said that back in the 70s my hair was long. What I did not say was my father would constantly harass me about my long hair and say cruel things. So after about two years of that abuse I went and got a “crew cut” very short military style cut – thinking that would please my father. Instead his only response was, “Why did you cut it so short?”
Even repeating the story would bring up emotions of hate and anger towards my father so much so that I realized that after all these 40 years the main reason for me having long hair was a heart issue of hate and rebellion towards my father and in a way society and those in authority over me. It was my way of making a stand and telling my father and everyone else – “You are not the boss over me!”
The only problem with that is my father has been dead for over 30 years and the rest of the world probably could care less whether my hair was short or long.
So the moral of the story for those that have hung with me this long is:
All those years I was only hurting myself and doing a thing that was displeasing to my Lord and Savior.
Because I learned it is a heart issue I decided to forgive my physical father and then go cut off the symbol of my hate and rebellion. I can only say how much lighter I feel and I don’t just mean that I am missing a bunch of hair, although my head is a bit colder – but that is what hats are for.
Although as I am 56 and my hair takes a lot more time to grow back and is getting thinner as the years go by – I know that if I ever decide to grow my hair long again it will be an issue between God and me and whether or not I have the right attitude and heart on the matter.
In the larger picture everything we do comes down to our why and our attitude and heart in the matter.
We must cut off anything that does not have a pure heart in following the Lord.