Friday, March 31, 2017
Spiritual Diet ... What God thinks about beauty
Beauty seems to be one of the defining ways we understand the modern world. Celebrities are assessed on their outward appearance, while billion-dollar industries exist to help us feel better about the way we look.
Unlike values such as truth and hope – about which the Bible is universally positive – the Scriptures are a little more ambivalent about beauty.
Beauty is certainly seen as God-given, but to focus too much on outward appearance is almost always seen as a bad thing.
Here are six scriptures to help us ponder the issue and get the value of beauty in context:
1. One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple' (Psalm 27:4).
2. 'Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God's sight' (1 Peter 3: 3-4)
3. 'The glory of youths is their strength, but the beauty of the aged is their grey hair' (Proverbs 20:2).
4. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God' (Isaiah 62: 2-3).
5. 'Your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of my splendour that I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God' (Ezekiel 16:14).
6. 'The rich will disappear like a flower in the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away' (James 1: 10-11).