Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 25 Where’s Your Beauty From???
We live in a culture—a world—consumed with physical beauty and worldly ‘attractiveness’—which often isn’t! What once would have been seen as exhibitionism, is no longer so, but today it seems that everything (including nudity) is almost everywhere you look, including in the church. Modesty is a word that few recognize, and those who do, don’t seem to apply it, or expect others to! What about you and me? Where are we taking our ques in regard to beauty from? The Holy Word of God or the ‘Holly-word’ of the popular culture, soap operas, movies, and even music (which is very interesting when you consider that Satan was the musical angel)?
“I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands,
without wrath and doubting.
9 In like manner also, that women
adorn themselves in modest apparel,
not with broided hair,
or gold, or pearls,
or costly array;
(which becometh women
with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:8-10
Paul was instructing Timothy on his pastoral responsibility to teach those in the church in regard to holy, righteous living. While I don’t believe that Paul is forbidding women to wear jewelry, I think rather, he’s reminding us that (male or female) we aren’t to depend on our ‘labels’, or our level of ‘bling’ to impress the world, but we are to be a reflection of The Lord we serve, not the world. And the disparity between the two is growing exponentially! We must “choose you this day whom ye will serve”! While we aren’t to ‘judge’ people’s worth by their attire, our appearance does send a message. Do I have more exposed than I have covered up? God says that ‘nakedness’ isn’t to be something that we flaunt—clothing is God’s idea.
“Unto Adam also and to his wife
did the LORD God make coats of skins,
and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
There is a beauty that God calls us to and it goes beyond fashion or bling! It’s such an important matter that we find it mentioned multiple times in The Word.
“Give unto the LORD the glory
due unto his name: bring an offering,
and come before him:
worship the LORD
in the beauty of holiness.” 1 Chronicles 16:29
“And when he had consulted with the people,
he appointed singers unto the LORD,
and that should praise
the beauty of holiness,
as they went out before the army,
and to say,
Praise the LORD;
for his mercy endureth for ever.” 2 Chronicles 20:21
“Give unto the LORD
the glory due unto his name;
worship the LORD
in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2
“Give unto the LORD
the glory due unto his name:
bring an offering,
and come into his courts.
9 O worship the LORD
in the beauty of holiness:
fear before him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:8-9
And where do we get this “beauty of holiness”? We can only receive God’s Holiness by receiving His Spirit when we are ‘born again’! We receive the power to ‘be’ God’s own, and the power to live like God’s own—from within not without—a new creature “in Christ”! (See John 1:12-13)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry
….21 For he hath made him
to be sin for us,
who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God
in him.” Portions of 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
We are called to ‘clothe’ ourselves from within—to reflect the glory of our Lord, not the world, as they are ‘going to hell in a handbasket’!
“For if we have been planted together
in the likeness of his death,
we shall be also
in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this,
that our old man is crucified
that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not
serve sin.” Romans 6:5-6
We can only ‘wear’ this spiritual clothing by God’s provision and grace, through the blood of Jesus that “cleanseth us from all sin”!
“Lie not one to another,
seeing that ye have put off the old man
with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man,
which is renewed in knowledge
after the image of him
that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew,
circumcision nor uncircumcision,
bond nor free:
but Christ is all,
and in all.” Colossians 3:9-11
I can walk in the newness of Jesus, and in His truth and power that “Christ is all, and in all”! Peter also gave specific instruction to women who want to reflect Jesus—there is a way we are to judge appropriate attire.
“Likewise, ye wives,
be in subjection to your own husbands;
that, if any obey not the word,
they also may without the word
be won by the conversation
of the wives;
2 While they behold your
coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning
let it not be that outward adorning
of plaiting the hair,
and of wearing of gold,
or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament
of a meek
and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God
of great price.” 1 Peter 3:1-4
What a message—God is calling us to live a life (conversation here is referring to a godly lifestyle, not just our words) that proceeds from a godly heart: “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit”—which “is in the sight of God of great price”! So, I think we need to judge our “closet options” by God’s standard not the world’s! Are we impressing people with our “tags” and our “bling”, or with a “meek and quiet spirit”? I pray that we are choosing wisely, ‘working out’ the Spirit which God has put within us in our daily walk, allowing God’s work to be displayed before a lost and dying world.
“Wherefore, my beloved,
as ye have always obeyed,
not as in my presence only,
but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you
both to will
and to do
of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
“Working out” what’s in, not ‘working for’ salvation. What are you doing to express the “good pleasure” of God around you?
“Favour is deceitful,
and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the LORD,
she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works
praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:30-31
Are we (male and female) expressing God’s character before the world, or being deceived by the vanity of the ‘labels and bling’ all around us? Are you seeking the praise of God or the praise of a world gone amuck rejecting God, His Son Jesus, and His Word?
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth
come forth from the heart;
and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart
proceed evil thoughts,
20 These are the things which defile a man:
but to eat with unwashen hands
defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:18-20
In the common vernacular—it ain’t your ‘mojo’, it’s your motives! God has a lot to say about true hearts—versus–words without meaning. Where’s your beauty coming from? Inside? Or outside?
“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me
with their mouth,
and honoureth me
with their lips;
but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:7-8