Friday, June 6, 2008

Inside Out

Wednesday I blogged about how we women often spend more time on our daily hair and make-up routine, than with God. (And for those who are tired of the princess theme, it's done...we're on to Barbie today!) But why do we put so much emphasize on the outward appearance?

Perhaps this will shed some light. I've just returned from the grocery store with my four year old. If you take a look at the photo of some of our purchases, you might notice a marketing theme. Barbi waffles and cereal, Dora corn and soup, and Princess soup. (whoops, princesses again!) My daughter sees the pictures on the outside of the package and she wants them...sometimes not even knowing what is inside.

How often in life do we act like my daughter? I remember a couple at church who looked like the "model" couple. After the wife and I became friends, she shared her husband had "anger management" problems! Wow - I had thought they had the perfect marriage. I was looking at the outside, not knowing the bitterness on the inside.

So much of life we base on the outward appearances. But what does the bible say about this? "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samual 16:7 NIV) Clearly in being Christlike we shouldn't judge others by their outward appearance.

But does outward appearance matter? And if not, shouldn't we all be hanging out in sweats with dirty hair and no make up? Clearly the Lord loves beauty. Just look at a sunset, a mountain top, or a peacock. And since the bible tells us that he knows how many hairs are on our head (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7), we know we have a God who has an attention to detail. I believe the right answer is to strike a healthy balance.

I like the verse in 1 Peter 3:3, 4 (NASB) that puts it this way "Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." It's okay to care about your appearance and want to look nice, as long as you aren't merely a beautifully wrapped empty box...pretty on the outside, but empty on the inside. Fill up your insides with the joy of the Lord. Then you will truly be beautiful...inside and out.

John 7:24 "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." (NIV)

Galatians 2:6 "As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message."

Matthew 6:28-30 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"


The Patterson 5 said...

I think your right about the sweats,dirty hair and no makeup. I feel better inside and out when I've showered, and prepared myself for the day- weather it is short/tshirt fun park day, or dress (pink) for days when you may have a house full of women you need to be hospitalable too-dressing for the day makes you more confident and feel more prepared for the tasks the Lord has given. Thanks for the balancing message!

Sonya said...

What a great reminder today to judge by the heart and to make sure my heart is beautiful in the eyes of God.

My ADHD Me said...

I Like todays blog! It IS important to feel good on the inside and you do feel better inside if you fix up your outside. And yes, it can go too far. I have a friend who spends literally hours a day on her appearance. She almost always looks great, but she's rarely happy. Then she shops, applies more make-up/jewelry etc and then, quess what, she's still unhappy. I'm working on her though...thanks to you.

Sue J said...

The truth is, the beauty issue has been with us since Eve and the forbidden fruit. God made a beautiful tree and told them not to eat it; and they obeyed for awhile. The serpent visited Eve and convinced her the tree was not harmful.

Read Genesis 3. Eve LOOKS at the tree and decides the fruit is good for eating..."a delight to the eyes" and the tree was "desirable" to make one wise. Satan convinces Eve that the external appearance is what counts--not the internal truth that, though beautiful, the fruit would be poison to their lives.

God made us all beautiful just the way we are. He never ordained that we dress ourselves up in any way. All the references that I was reading about dressing up go to the culture and tradition of the time. And, frankly, many of the folks who were heavily ornamented got into a lot of trouble.

When we take care of our bodies, it is because we respect that the body is the temple of the Holy God who works within us. That's a good thing. Our natural beauty should shine like the beauty God created around us (see Song of Solomon for those types of references).

Remember what happened to the chicks in Isaiah's prophecy--all their finery banished for BRANDING!

Celebrate the God-given beauty that is in each one of us, and we will be that much closer to Him.

Carol said...

How true! We really don't know what is going on on the inside. Thanks for sharing!

HisPrincess said...

Its so true that looks can be deceiving. Thanks for your post Kelly. Thanks also for remembering Pink in your prayers.She really needs to feel Gods love at the moment. She is lost and angry.