The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Beauty
Enjoy It, But Don’t Bank On It
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
If you had the power to change your body, would you use it? Suppose you could instantly change the way you look. Would you do it? For most of us the question is not, Would you use that power? but rather, Would it be a simple repair or a complete makeover? Would you say, “Lord, let’s just start all over again"? Would we even recognize you?
Our bodies wear out, they sag, they expand, they wrinkle, the joints get creaky, the arteries harden, the heart slows down, the eyes grow dim, the teeth fall out, the back is stooped, the arms grow weary. Our bones break, our muscles weaken. The body bulges in the wrong places. It happens to all of us sooner or later.
There is coming a day when your body won’t need changing. You won’t grow old and you won’t get cancer. Jesus Christ will give you a brand-new body. Until then, we live in hope, waiting patiently for that day to come.
That perspective explains so much that happens to us. God is weaning you away from putting your hope in the things of this world so that your hope will be in Him alone. The only way He can wean you away from the things of this world is through suffering and difficulty. He brings you to the place where you must say, “Lord, it’s You and You alone.” He’s teaching you to wait on Him. Right now you’re trying to scheme your way into a better situation. But eventually you’ll say, “Lord, if it takes forever, go ahead. Take Your time. My hope is in You.”
None of this should suggest that beauty is useless. It is, however, “fleeting” and can be misleading. Both Saul and David were handsome men, yet one man came to a very bad end while the other, though not perfect, was a man after God’s own heart. Beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, it is also only skin deep. Beauty is fine, but character is better. The only other reference to beauty in Proverbs comes as a warning about the immoral woman in 6:25: “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.” Likewise, the only New Testament references to human beauty speak of “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4).
Note also that “charm is deceptive.” The word charm carries with it the idea of being attractive, fascinating, and slightly mysterious. This is not a warning against good manners and good grooming, but against relying on outward appearance to gain favor with others. Such a person relies on good looks, a nice wardrobe, a knowing laugh, a radiant smile, and general self-confidence to carry him wherever he wants to go.
Against all this we have the simple statement that “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Because she has relied on the Lord all her life, she is more beautiful at the end than at the beginning. Her beauty will never fade because it comes from the inside out.
Lord, may I have the inner beauty that comes from knowing You. Amen.
If you could change anything about the way you look, what would it be?
Which do you think about more-the state of your soul or the state of your wardrobe? What steps have you taken recently to improve your “inner beauty"?
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