From Your Pastor, June 8

From Your Pastor, June 8

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

— Proverbs 31.30

Cosmetics, clothing and plastic surgery are a billion-dollar industry in America. Women are flocking to doctors to have plastic surgery to improve their beauty, but Solomon says that beauty is vain. The word “vain” means “empty, meaningless, useless or futile.” Of course, we should be good stewards of our bodies. That is why Paul reminds us that “bodily training is of some value…” (1 Timothy 4.8). Christians, however, should not be obsessed with their outward appearance. 

My wife made a wooden sign to hang over my daughter’s bed. Here is what the sign says: “It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God” (1 Peter 3.3-4). Why did my wife hang that sign over my daughter’s bed? My daughter needs the truth. She needs the truth to be buried deep within her heart and mind—rather than the volatility of the world. Instead of placing a heavy emphasis on her external beauty, she must hear God say to her: “…your beauty should come from within you…” Yes, her character matters but more than just character. It “…is Christ in you” (Colossians 1.27). It is her personal relationship with Christ Jesus and her union with him. 

Perhaps you immediately say, “What! What does Christ have to do with my beauty at all? That is so ethereal, other-worldly and even absurd.” Not really and here’s why: according to the Bible we are searching for beauty and attempting to make ourselves beautiful. Why? Because we know we are not beautiful. What did Adam do after the fall? Adam said, “I hid myself” (Genesis 3.10). There is something missing with our beauty, or else we would not constantly try to improve our external appearance. When sin entered into this world it marred us. We don’t feel beautiful.

So what is the only way to find our true beauty again? On the cross Jesus was ugly. Isaiah said that he had “no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53.2). Jesus was ugly so that we could be beautiful before God. We were ugly and Christ was beautiful, but on the cross Jesus became the ugliest person of all time, so that we could be beautiful before God. If Christ is our beauty and he is the Sovereign Savior, then nothing can take away our ultimate beauty. Our external beauty will diminish over time, but our eternal beauty in Christ will never depart from us. The only way to defeat our sin and the sinful pressures of this world is to pommel it with the sovereign sound bite known as the SO THAT. Jesus died SO THAT we could live for him rather than living for the fleeting beauty of the world. 

Is Christ Jesus beautiful to you? 

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

— Proverbs 31.30