‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.’ Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
Beauty is everywhere around us; in nature, in sound, in experiences, and in people. We should be able to identify and enjoy the very essence of beauty, in all its forms. But let’s look at beauty in people today.
Nobody is perfect. Even the most beautiful Hollywood people, professional models, and ‘the girl next door’ have imperfections of one kind or another. Some people who look absolutely flawless have serious deficits in their character. And, vice versa, many who are not considered beautiful by the world’s standards have beautiful character. And there are those who can claim beauty in both areas.
So, how should we measure beauty? Physical beauty will fade over time. But beauty in character and personality will not, if the foundation upon which it is built is true and strong. Beauty when nurtured by faith and the love of God only grows more beautiful. And when the soul has great beauty, it tends to show it in the eyes and face of the person so blessed.
Men and women both want to be beautiful. It is a part of being human, and wanting to ‘fit in’ or be accepted by our peers. And while I may have beautiful eyes, (so I’ve been told!), you may have the most beautiful smile that simply lights up your face! A gentleman may have a true gentleness about him, which interprets to the onlooker or receiver of that gentleness as beauty.
God has graced each person with beauty of some sort, in some form. A totally lost person may be considered gorgeous physically. And sometimes even their character, their personality, who they are, is also beautiful. But without Jesus, they will never realize their full potential. They will never make it to the home Christians will enjoy in eternity. While we may envy these people and wish we looked and acted like them, we have something much more beautiful living within us…Jesus.
Jesus came to the world as a beautiful baby, but He is described in Isaiah like this, ‘He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.’ (Isaiah 53:2 a (NIV). Yet we know people flocked to Him, when He walked among them, when He preached, when He healed and performed other miracles. He had that quality that drew people, that caused them to want to be in His presence. He called out to Simon Peter and Andrew, ‘Come, follow me’, and they immediately left their fishing nets and went with Him. His very presence was beauty personified.
Another description of beauty is how God looks at His children. We are beautiful to Him, and it does not matter how we look to others. This is of no consequence to the eyes of God. Remember, He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5); He alone knows the number of the hairs of our heads (Matthew 10:30).
Jesus the Christ was not beautiful by man’s standards, but we know Him as beautiful. In Heaven, He is stunningly so. He is in His real glory when He is with His Father. He is Our Hope, and He is beauty personified, glorified, magnified. He assures us that we are blessed with beauty as well, and since His opinion is the only one that counts, when He measures beauty we can trust the interpretation!
‘God has made everything beautiful in its time.’ Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)