Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
An interview about the Miss Universe Pageant really caught my attention. A gentleman who was a major supporter of the contest was asked what determined the final outcome and the winner.
His answer was frank and to the point: “Let’s just say what it is: it all comes down to beauty. How they look. Oh, yes, they can be intelligent and business women and all those things, but what really matters is how they look . . . how beautiful they are.”
I looked at the pictures of each young woman in the contest and they were truly all physically beautiful. Perfect skin and perfect teeth. Perfect hair, perfect curls. Perfect gowns on perfect bodies. Perfect smiles. Perfect conversations with the judges. They . . . were . . . well . . . perfect.
And then I looked at my reflection in the mirror. A scar on my neck from a surgery. Wrinkles that make deep inroads from the corners of my eyes to my hairline. Varicose veins on my ankle resembling a tattoo gone horribly wrong. Crazy hair that wakes up in a whole new world every morning. A crooked tooth in spite of three years of braces. Nothing perfect at all.
According to that gentleman I would not compare or ever come close to his – or the worlds – definition of what matters: physical beauty. Can you identify?
Look at today’s Scripture in Proverbs 31:30. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He knew a beautiful woman when he saw one and he was surrounded by hundreds of them. And yet he makes the startling observation that charm and beauty are not what’s most important. He says that the key to what makes a beautiful woman beautiful is her spiritual life. Wow!
Those lovely women in the pageant will not always look perfect as they did during the competition. No one can escape the aging process. Solomon reflects in Ecclesiastes that we all came from dust and that is where we will all return.
Solomon understands true beauty when he says “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” She fears the Lord; in other words, she respects and reverences the holiness of her Creator. Her heart is focused on being an example of Jesus. That inner beauty will not fade with age as physical beauty most certainly does.
Will physical beauty continue to be what most in the world consider “perfect”? Oh I’m positive of that.
But, more than anything, I want my beauty to come – not from a reflection in a mirror – but from a reflection of Jesus. The Perfect Creator.
Father, too many times I look at my physical appearance and forget that you made me in your image to worship you. Today my heart is focused on you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Can you think of a woman who you would consider to be physically beautiful?
Does she reflect a mirror of physical beauty only or does she also reflect the inner beauty of Jesus?
Society today is continually focusing on physical beauty. If you have children or grandchildren, take time to share with them about God’s viewpoint of real beauty.
Share today’s power verses with them and praise their desire to be a beautiful reflection of Jesus.
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
I Samuel 16:7 (NIV) “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Ecclesiastes 3:20 (NIV) “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”
Psalm 139:14 (NIV) “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
I Peter 3:3-4 (NIV) “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog Encouragement From the War Room.)