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Outward Appearances
by Martin Wiles
11/15/11
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Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. NIV)

ďBeauty is only skin deep.Ē Weíve heard it, but who actually believes it?

Beautiful is normally an adjective applied to women, but since Iím a man Iíll choose a more appropriate adjective: handsome. Iíve never considered myself handsome-nor should I, but most boys growing up want to be noticed by girls. While my inside looked acceptable, I never thought my outside did.

Having to get glasses at an early age didnít help my self-image, especially since the styles of the 1960ís lacked a lot to be desired. And there was my weight or lack of it. I was skinny and not muscularly built. Regardless of how much I ate I couldnít gain weight. My ribs and chest bone showed and my legs didnít lend themselves to wearing shorts.

I struggled with my self esteem for a number of years until the truth of this and other verses finally sunk in. Charm and truth are not necessarily bedfellows. We can do the first without telling the second. And beauty is truly only skin deep even though our antics often portray our unbelief of the statement.

Witness the pedicures, manicures, hair coloring, relentless exercise and dieting programs, weight lifting, steroids, wigs, hairpieces, waxing, cryonics, etc. And some of these are acceptable and even beneficial with the understanding thereís no guarantee they will extend life. Even the fittest athlete can die with heart failure, a brain tumor or cancer.

Somewhere along the line I recognized my handsomeness had no relation to outward appearance but was determined by an inward relationship with Christ. From his vantage point, I am perfect in appearance regardless of how I appear to others. From my perspective, Iím in process of becoming what he already sees.

Sure Iíll still take care of this old body but Iíll make a greater effort to do the more important-fear the Lord. Reverence for him and trust in him is much more essential than anything we might do to our bodies outwardly. Learn to see yourself as God does.

Prayer: Almighty God, when we are troubled by our outside and lack healthy self esteem, remind us we are beautiful in Your sight. www.morningliteministry.com

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