Beauty Is As Beauty Does
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? On average, it usually takes me an hour. Showering is a breeze, it’s wrestling with my hair that keeps the clock ticking. Those of you with fine hair know what I’m talking about. We applaud the invention of hairspray and look forward to those days of little to no humidity. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.
I'm ashamed to admit the many times I've given more attention to my outward appearance than to my inward attitude.
the right heart. Can you relate? This is one of the ugly symptoms of pride.
Unfortunately pride is nothing new. It was Satan’s pride that caused him to be thrown out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). So it comes as no surprise that throughout the ages he would tempt us with this same sin.
A common problem
I’m pretty sure the women of Paul and Timothy’s day were just as susceptible to pride as you and me. It seems some of the women in Timothy’s church were trying to gain attention by flaunting their outward appearance (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
These ladies were distracting fellow-worshippers with their expensive clothes, elaborate hairstyles, and flashy jewelry. Paul counseled them to concentrate on cultivating inner beauty. Instead of spending time being consumed with self, they were to worship the Lord and serve others – trading self-love for agape love.
This echoes the words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew:
…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.Matthew 22:37-39, KJV
So what does inner beauty look like?
Paul gives us a vivid description in his letter to the Colossians:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering (patience): Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness.Colossians 3:12-14 (words in parentheses mine)
As believers, “the elect of God,” we’re to have distinct Christ-like qualities. These are the things that make us truly beautiful:
compassion – sympathy for the suffering of others
kindness – considerate or caring
humbleness – modest and unassuming in attitude and behavior; respectful
meekness – mildness or quietness of nature
longsuffering (patience) – patient endurance in the face of suffering
forbearance – not responding when provoked
forgiving – excusing a mistake or wrong
charity (love) – unconditional love that expects nothing in return
Can you see the value of developing these characteristics? Just like the women in Timothy’s church, it’s important for us to evaluate our motives. Are we interested in drawing attention to ourselves, or are we making Christ the focal point?
As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He enables us to live more like Christ. Pride and self-love are cast off. And the result is inner beauty.
Do you find yourself seeking attention or pointing to Christ? What step will you take today to develop inner beauty?
Can I pray for you?
Heavenly Father, this is a challenging lesson. We have a tendency to spend more time on our outward appearance than our inner man. Forgive us for being prideful. Help us see the importance of worshipping You and serving others. Help us yield to You so Your Holy Spirit can develop Christ-like qualities in us. In Jesus' name, Amen.Leave a comment on my wall if this post helped you
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