SYNOPSIS: Christians are not immune to unemployment and social isolation due to hygiene issues which have nothing to do with faith and discipleship. However, some might conclude a lack of hygiene on the outside as being reflective of a similar condition on the inside. Yes Jesus was most concerned about the inside but since the body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit” the outside should also reflect the best a person can give. (This article was first published on RENOVA Coaching.)
In the movie Far and Away, Tom Cruise playing the part of a young Irishman named Joseph Donnelly, travels to the United States with Shannon Christie played by Nichole Kidman. Their intent is to get a new start and find land in their new country. In one scene Joseph has bragged about how quickly he has finished cleaning his laundry while Shannon clearly does not know how to clean her clothes. Joseph proceeds to show her how by taking a garment, placing it on a washboard, and plunging it into the soapy water and scrubbing it on the washboard. As he demonstrates the technique he tells Shannon, “You plunge and scrub, plunge and scrub, and if it still is not clean then…you plunge and scrub and plunge and scrub.” Later in the movie Shannon demonstrates the technique to her mother who is not used to doing her own laundry.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)
As a professional life coach and disciplist I have recently had the opportunity to work with some young adults who, like Shannon Christie in the movie Far and Away either do not know the virtues of personal hygiene or are too lazy to apply the principles. It is particularly troubling as some of these young adults were certainly taught the rudimentary methods of bathing, brushing their teeth, and washing their clothes by their parents but the sitcom Friends left a greater impression. It is true that we live in a time when narcissism rules but if you expect to get a job and keep it or have a meaningful relationship with someone, then perhaps you need to get back to the basics.
As a teacher I have been known to begin my classes with a quiz of five well chosen questions, so which of the answers below as related to clothing is the correct answer?
- Throw the garment against the wall and if and when it falls to the floor it is okay to wear.
- Clothes, including underwear, can be worn at least ten times before washing them.
- As long as I take a shower, clothes off the floor are a reasonable choice.
- I can skip the shower as long as I use body spray and deodorant.
- I shower or bathe once a day and wear clean clothes that have not been worn more than twice between washings.
GROSS! I hope you know the right answer because if I have to tell you then you have a problem. It is indeed odd that this issue must be addressed but with such dysfunction in families and society, it is needed. If you have interviewed high school AND college graduates for employment lately then you might agree. I went to traffic court a couple of years ago, and I was amazed at what people wore to court. In fact the judge told one woman to come back to court the next week because she was scantily dressed in something that was entirely too small. He refused to hear her case until she was dressed more modestly.
25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matthew 23:25-26 (NKJV)
I interviewed one young man on several occasions and it was likely that he had bathed but body odor was evident on his clothes. Another young man almost gassed me with his bad breath. It would seem that these are common sense issues but not anymore. If you follow the following guidelines then if you don’t get the job or keep it, your loss will not be due to a lack of personal hygiene.
- Shower or bathe daily…with soap. Maybe you are trying to be like the Europeans or a water conservationist but the question is, “Do you want the job and/or relationship or not?” When washing yourself give attention to underarms, feet, and private parts. (I didn’t think I would ever need to write that so plainly, but times have changed.)
- Use deodorant, body spray, and cologne conservatively. Not too much and not as a substitute for a shower or bath. I guarantee that others can smell body odor through Channel #9 and you don’t need to add your own personal spice to Old Spice.
- Guys, trim your nails and clean the gunk out from under them. A female interviewer will notice.
- Do something with that hair. Don’t go to an interview or to work with bed hair or unwashed flakey hair. Also, be careful about giving yourself a quick trim. One young man I knew decided to give himself a haircut and looked like he was on chemotherapy.
- Guys, depending on the job or potential job, shave or groom your beard and mustache. Also, nose hair is not the in thing for most job interviewers and supers.
- Brush your teeth and use mouthwash. If you eat garlic, or ramps for my Appalachian readers, some parsley oil such as Breath-Assure will neutralize the odiferous herbs. A couple Tic-Tacs can also help but you probably don’t want the rhythmical rattle of a Tic-Tac package in your pocket. I like to just take a few with me every day just for good measure.
- God gave humans two eyebrows but nature sometimes gives some people just one. You might want to make sure you have two but be careful not to eliminate one or both.
- Wear underwear! Years ago when I joined the U.S. Navy and had a “group physical” I was amazed at the number of guys that did not wear underwear. It’s not clean and the practice does nothing to keep your clothes clean if you know what I mean.
- Perhaps you like your tattoo but it may not win points with an interview as a new business executive or manager in training. Cover it up. Better yet…don’t get one! I know that mine is an ultra conservative position on this one but do you want the job or not?
- Wear clean clothes. If they have been worn once already, do the smell-test. The problem is that individuals cannot always sense their own odors…but everybody else can. You may use some discretion as related to clothing in some cases. If you are going to work around the house, then that pair of jeans that you have worn twice might be okay. However, err on the clean side. Remember to dress appropriately to the job or occasion. It is usually better to over dress slightly than to under dress.
- Wear clean socks. Some people wear socks once and put them back in the drawer to wear again. Not cool.
- Because bacteria particularly like to colonize shoes, it’s a good idea to spray them occasionally with a product for the purpose that kills the organisms and neutralizes foot odor. It also might be a good idea to clean and polish your shoes if appropriate.
The list could go on but these are the very basics. Add more in the comments section.
Perhaps you are saying, “Why do I have to do all those things to get a job?” While you may not agree, your perspective employer is looking for an employee who will project the image THEY want. While hiring you is about you, it’s also about them. They are looking to see (and smell) if you are a good fit. Will you project their desired image and will customers and coworkers want to be around you? The BIG question is, DO YOU WANT THE JOB OR NOT?
Life is limiting enough without limiting one’s choices because of poor hygiene.
Is there a young adult that you know who might benefit by reading this article? Do you have some “tasteful” suggestions to add for males and females regarding hygiene? Do you have an interesting or funny story about hygiene as related to interviewing or hiring? Please post “tasteful” comments that will add to the discussion.
Dr. Tom Cocklereece is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC
He is a pastor, author, professional coach, leadership specialist, and is
a member Coach/Teacher/Speaker for the John Maxwell Team
This post has already been read 2522 times!
We honor copyright laws on print material as well as photos. We take or make many of our own photos and buy some as well. We never use images from others that have copyright markings. We remove any material or photo that is questioned as soon as we become aware of it. If you believe we have posted copyrighted material please inform us and we will evaluate it: tom@simplediscipleship.
The Leadership Chair
Follow Simple Discipleship
THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP
THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP PROJECTBe a part of The Laws of Discipleship Project! Each law of discipleship reflects the light of Christ like a facet of a diamond. Tom Cocklereece is currently writing the manuscript for this upcoming discipleship resource. You are invited to participate. If you are interested, email tom@ simplediscipleship.com
Disciple-Maker’s Toolkit- Leader & Learner Editions
Free Discipleship Plan pdf
Ministry Leadership Ad
SD Online Guests
Most Read Posts
- NAME YOUR GREMLIN: Denial (37,301)
- ARE WE “SLAVES” OR “SERVANTS” OF CHRIST? A DISCUSSION ABOUT BIBLE TRANSLATION AND THE HCSB (35,518)
- Diabesity - A Reversible Epidemic: Guest Blog by Mark Hyman, MD for RENEW WELLNESS (14,131)
- 6 REASONS TO MONITOR YOUR BLOOD SUGAR: A RENEW Wellness Diabetes Testimony (7,408)
- THE RED PILL OR THE BLUE PILL? (6,322)
- GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY! (5,823)
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: #13 – PROCESS DISCIPLESHIP (5,451)
- MAKE YOUR OWN "MINISTRY COMPETENCY WORD CLOUD" (5,013)
- EXPONENTIAL 2012: ARE YOU BEING SIFTED? (4,822)
- 11 WAYS A STAFF CHRISTIAN COACH CAN GROW YOUR CHURCH (4,818)
- VISION IS VIRAL BUT STRATEGY IS STATIC (4,494)
- SO, YOUR CHURCH IS SEARCHING FOR A PASTOR (4,163)
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: 7- PROGRAM DISCIPLESHIP (4,104)
- WHY DON’T SMART PEOPLE GET JESUS? (REMIX) Guest Post by Rachael Fox (3,814)
- BASIC CHRISTIAN COMPETENCIES (3,787)
- NAME YOUR GREMLIN: Scaredy Gremlin (3,652)
- WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF DISCIPLESHIP? (3,561)
- FIVE ELEMENTS OF A BOOK REVIEW (3,449)
- THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP PROJECT (3,349)
- SUNDAY SCHOOL THAT REALLY RESPONDS by Steve Parr: AN UNSOLICITED REVIEW (3,344)
- EVERY CHRISTIAN A DISCIPLE-MAKER (3,253)
- WHY EVANGELISM ISN’T WORKING (3,227)
- SECRET CHURCH REFLECTIONS (3,155)
- COUNTER-CULTURAL CHRISTIANITY: THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE (2,978)
- BREAKING THE EVANGELISM CODE by Victor H. Benavides (2,909)
- A SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE LESSON (2,897)
- SIMPLE DISCIPLESHIP AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS (2,823)
- THE DARK KNIGHT vs THE BRIGHT KNIGHT (2,823)
- SO, YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR A NEW CHURCH OR MINISTRY (2,705)
- A JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE (2,618)
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: #11 – PROFICIENCY DISCIPLESHIP (2,578)
- A 10-POINT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS (2,578)
- GREMLINS AND GUARDIANS – STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH (2,525)
- RUB A DUB DUB, PLUNGE AND SCRUB (2,522)
- HOW TO GET RID OF YOUR GREMLINS: Blamer (2,409)
- ONLINE MASTERMIND: DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES (2,304)
- PREVENTING SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CHURCH (2,274)
- NAME YOUR GREMLIN: PRIDE AND ARROGANCE (2,234)
- TRANSFORMATIONAL LOVE: 1 CORINTHIANS 13 (2,194)
- PREPARE FOR DEFINING MOMENTS (2,177)
- DISCIPLESHIP IS CHRISTIAN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT (2,116)
- 30 Coaching Questions to Create your Ministry Leadership Development Plan (2,065)
- THE FIVE MISSIONAL MOVEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS (2,035)
- MINISTRY COMPETENCY LEADERSHIP COACHING (2,019)
- MISCONCEPTIONS OF LEADERSHIP (1,954)
- THE IMPACT OF SIMPLE DISCIPLESHIP (1,928)
- LIVING THE DREAM OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1,798)
- TRANSFORMATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP: A REVIEW (1,792)
- BORN INTO WAR: SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND DISCIPLESHIP (1,779)
- ANYONE CAN BE A SERVANT OF GOD (1,714)