Think on These Things: Positive thoughts in a negative world…
If beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, what do I see when I “behold” myself in the mirror? Usually I see an older, slightly overweight, flawed individual whose gray roots are badly in need of a touch up. Most of us feel we fall short because we live in an airbrushed society obsessed with physical beauty. It’s bound to influence how we look at ourselves and how we look at others.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately, most of us “beholders” have been bombarded with digitally enhanced images through television, movies, and magazines. Media has determined what is beautiful and we have subliminally been programmed to accept it. To them, the phrase “inner beauty” is just another way of saying “uggglllyyy!”
Although difficult, we need to think of beauty the same way God does. Nowhere do we see God using outward appearance to determine someone’s beauty. In fact, He cautions us against using such criteria for judging another’s worth. When God’s prophet Samuel was looking for the next king of Israel among the sons of Jesse, he thought he’d found the right one. So much so that when he looked at Jesse’s son Eliab He said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:6).
However, God had other ideas. In I Samuel 16:7, God said, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.” In other words, it didn’t matter if this guy was one the 50 hunkiest men in the world and looked like he should be a king. God was looking for something else which was found in Eliab’s kid brother David—a lowly shepherd.
God went on to say, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Try telling that to People Magazine!
Perhaps we should start beholding beauty the same way God does. He’s not looking at a person’s shiny blonde hair, blemish-free skin, slim hips, and new Prada shoes. He finds a heart full of the fruits of His spirit more appealing (Galatians 5:22-23).
When we look for the beauty in others, do we look for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? When God beholds beauty, He doesn’t look for something that is “skin-deep.” He goes much deeper—into a person’s very heart.
Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen…they must be felt with the heart.” Great perception, don’t you think? Especially since it came from a blind woman who knew how to behold the beauty all around her.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8 (KJV)