Why is it done, and for what good reason? For birds, it might be for safer flight, where they excise bad, or non-performing feathers. Eagles, actually excise their beak, and grow new ones… thus giving them more strength to catch their prey, and defense… so in their case… it’s for survival.
For humans, it might be for purposes of ego, and building self-esteem; and of course… good-grooming. We humans, for the most part, all, want to look nice, putting our best foot forward; trying to make the best first impression.
There are exceptions, i.e., Steve Jobs, who it is said, went to interviews either bare-footed, or in flip-flops. (Sorry, I would not consider such an interview). While preening has its purpose for animals…. for humans it may lead to a sense of falsehood, misrepresentation, and window dressing of the truth.
Matthew 23: 1-3 says: Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.
We humans, might also consider…. Preening for God. How would we go about doing that? This would be a process of “cleansing our souls for Christ.” It would be the process of “believing that Jesus died for our sins, confessing our sins… and promising to turn away from sin.” Why not try….Preening for Our Lord God…Jesus Christ?