Outward beauty is highly prized and much sought after in the 21st century. There is a great deal of emphasis placed on image; an enormous pressure to conform to ‘acceptable’ standards; vast amounts of money invested in cosmetic aids of every description. Yet the truth is that ‘skin-deep’ beauty does not last. William Barclay wrote, “…the people we really remember are the people who are gentle, generous, gracious, wise and kind. Real loveliness outlasts synthetic beauty.”
‘Real loveliness’ is not easily come by however; it grows out of things like self-denial, self-discipline, personal effort, life’s hard knocks, times spent in prayer. Learning to handle with grace all that life hands out, learning to lean on Yahweh in trust and serenity while the storms howl around us, will have a more lasting effect than anything we can buy over the counter! An inner loveliness of the soul will have a continuing, positive impact on the face and in the eyes.
Speaking to the ladies the apostle Peter wrote, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of [Elohim].” [1 Peter 3: 3-4] In our time men are equally concerned with image and ‘adornment’, so may I ask that all of us consider these words in the coming week? How is ‘the inner person’ of your heart? Are you cultivating some ‘incorruptible beauty’? Allow yourself to be influenced, not by relentless advertising, but by the precious word of Yahweh.