Outward Beauty

I am constantly astounded by how quickly fashion trends come and go. Taking a look back at some of the most popular fashion trends. Why do we tend to gravitate toward them? Is it purely aesthetic, or does it stem from a genuine desire to belong? Fashion, jewelry, and makeup are all ways to enhance our appearance. Let us focus today on the true beauty within. 

We also assess other people according to the same standards and ideals. It seems that early Christian women shared our current conception of beauty. We all understand without a doubt that as we become older, our inherent attractiveness declines. Our skin ages, gets spots, and loses elasticity over time. Age brings all of these things. This is a normal component of the process as our bodies are liable to corruption.

For all flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man is like the flower of the grass; the grass withers and the flower falls off..  1 Peter 1:24

The Inner Man

We have a new life that will last forever because we are born again. This is the hidden man, or inner man, and because our hope is eternal, we need to focus less on the body and more on the soul. Now it's fine to appreciate beautiful things. There is remarkable splendor everywhere we look in God's creation, from people to lush landscapes and everything in between. However, we must be careful not to spend so much time and money on perfecting our outer beauty that we neglect to build ourselves up on the inside.

Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is perishing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day.       2 Corinthians 4:16

The way God perceives beauty is different than how we see it. We examine things with our eyes, judging and treating people based on what we observe, but God considers the inner man. Similarly, the prophet Samuel did the same thing. Samuel was given instructions to visit the home of Jesse because it was God's plan for one of Jesse's sons to become the new King. Once he gazed upon Eliab, who exhibited all the visible characteristics of a king, he was sincerely convinced that he was indeed the king. His assumption was incorrect, however. David was instead selected by God.

Even though David was handsome, he did not fit Samuel's image of what a King should look like. The same was true for Jesus. The people of Israel failed to recognize Jesus as Savior because they  expected the messiah to naturally appear the way they envisioned him.

 But the LORD said to Samuel," Don't be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him: for the LORD does not see as a man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance but the LORD looks on the heart. "      1 Samuel  16:7

For he shall sprout up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.   Isaiah 53:2

What is Beauty?

All the qualities of beauty are represented by splendor, brightness, and grace. In the Bible, it is common to see the comparison of beauty to an ornament. We are internally renewed in God and ought to show others this beauty. People ought to recognize the attractiveness of our spiritual traits. God is quite pleased of this inner beauty of ours. We are told to let our good deeds shine through rather than place too much importance on appearances like our hair, clothing, or body adornments.

I'm not suggesting that you can't wear jewelry or makeup as long as it is done modestly. What good is beauty on the surface if the interior does not match, in my opinion? What exactly is the point? Do you agree?

 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  1 Peter 3:3-4

Beauty of Holiness

Proverbs 11 gives a great example of why virtue and godliness should be cultivated instead of vain beauty . While people of today love their pets and dress them up in all kind of accessories, it is hard for me to imagine a stinking pig adorned with gold jewelry.  There is no amount of gold or jewelry that can change the fact that the pig is filthy. No amount of adornments will make that animal beautiful.   Now that's an apt comparison for a beautiful woman without apparent reason or judgement. Her beauty can not override her foolishness.

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.  Proverbs 11:22

In the short-term, physical beauty may make it easier for a person to get jobs or the approval of men, but it is not long-lasting. Nevertheless, the Beauty of Holiness is capable of bringing about change. Godly qualities have the power to transform a marriage, even winning over a husband who does not obey the gospel. Peter's exhortation to married women made this point. Godly qualities such as a gentle and quiet spirit should illuminate from us.

In the same way, wives be subject to your own husbands. Then, even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live, when they see your pure and reverent conduct.  1 Peter 3:1-2

A person's true beauty is not found in the accessories they wear, nor in the clothes they wear, nor in their makeup. Our true beauty lies in Christ.

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