I love beautiful things, don’t you? I love looking at beautiful structures and see how they were put together with such ingenuity. I also love looking at babies because they are so beautiful in their fresh ‘newness’ in life. But what I often don’t enjoy or appreciate is looking at myself in the mirror, because I don’t find beauty there.
When I look at myself in the mirror, I see the silver streaks in my hair, the laugh lines, the loose skin that just won’t ‘bounce back’ after having these 5 children. I don’t understand why my hubby still just stops and stares at me…only to whisper “you are so beautiful.”
Our society panders after the young and in a nearly worshipful attitude, strives to look as youthful as possible. We spend hours working out, we spend money on products that promise to remove years from our bodies, and we pour ourselves into this pursuit with vim and vigor. But should we? According to my science textbook (The Sciences by Trefil & Hazen), the aging of the body is unavoidable. The skin, over time, will simply lose its luster and firmness. The hair follicles will lose their melatonin and become ‘uncolored’. Our joints, muscles, tissue will begin a natural process of decay that really ramps up after hitting age 50. Such is life and the pursuits to keep a body looking eternally ‘teenish’ is folly, even according to life science and evolution.
But what about believers? What about those who have been inscribed with Christ’s blood? What are we to do with this struggle, because struggle we do!! I am telling you, even I feel it. There have been churches we attended where every lady there, regardless of age, is dressed/painted to the 9’s even during mid-week bible study and I feel out of place with no make-up and wearing jeans. There are Christians who sweat hard to beat their body into a youthful appearance, or beat themselves up with a baseball bat if they don’t have the time or money to beat their bodies into submission. Appearances matter, always! Even we believers buy into the belief that youth is where beauty lies and we must do whatever it takes to remain beautiful.
But where should our measure of beauty come from? For a Christ-follower, those who have been bought and paid for by the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ? I believe it needs to come from a Biblical foundation with bricks formed through the furnace of sanctification.
A quick perusal of Ecclesiastes will remind us that all the worldly pursuits are vanity. Even the toil of our hands and the goals we are trying to reach just today will fade away into oblivion, for they are not made of eternal stuff, but of temporary goods. We must remember that this world is bound for extinction. It lays under the curse of sin and itself is decaying around us (Gen 3:17). And while God won’t curse it again on account of man (Gen 8:21), nevertheless, it is seeking relief when it shall be put to rest through redemption (Rom 8:22). Why place anchors onto something that will eventually be destroyed? There is no security found there.
I am loving my women’s ministries verse for the year. Matthew 6:20 reminds us that we are to storing our treasure in heaven where moth, rust, and thieves are lacking. When we chase after the beauty of this world, we are setting our hearts on treasures that won’t last, either. Even the treasures we store here on earth will be destroyed. Why not exert energy trying to attain the beauty of eternity. The soul is forever, not the body. Feed the soul what it desires, the bread of life found in Scripture. This pursuit is worthwhile and rewarding.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
A Rich Inheritance
1 Corinthians 15 reminds us that this body of ours is weak and temporary and not fit for heaven. This body must pass away before we can enjoy heaven with our Savior. Our inheritance, bought for by Jesus’ blood, is of eternal quality. And the temporal cannot inheritance something that is eternal. If we want the true inheritance, the eternal gifts and riches of heaven, then we need to be seeking after eternal things.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:50
We must set our hearts on spiritual beauty, because that won’t fade away, wrinkle, ache, groan, silver, or fade. Since our souls are what magnify and glorify God forever, that is what we should be investing in.
This post was inspired by the following video. May we seek after Christ and eternal things at the same time we are teaching our daughters where their treasures should be also!
The Grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Lord lasts forever. Isa 40:8