Which “Beauty” Do You Focus On?

Proverbs 11:22 NRSV
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman without good sense.

I hit the mid-century mark several years ago. And, as with everything else in this world that has more than a few miles on it, my body’s beginning to show the wear and tear of living on a gravity planet. Plain and simple, more than anything else, gravity takes its tole. Gravity is why we have wrinkles, why our spines begin to give way (we get shorter as we get older), why body parts begin to sag. And aside from spending thousands and thousands of dollars on plastic surgery (and then that’s still not always the answer), I have to accept the fact that I’m beginning not only to get older but to look older.

Beauty is fleeting.

At least outward beauty is. One of the consequences of living in a sin-ravaged world is that everything made up of atoms (including us) has a life expectancy. Nothing in this current world is permanent. Thank the Lord for the promise of a new heaven and a new earth! Thank the Lord for the promise of new bodies!

But meanwhile, I need to make the most of what I’ve got. This “rented house,” as temporary as it is, is also where I’m living until I “change residences.” And as a woman, as a Christian, I need to decide where my priorities lie.

Because America is so prosperous (yes, even in the middle of this recession/depression), I have a myriad of choices available. I can try to hang onto my “youth” (meaning, try to continue to look gorgeous and young and sexy), or I can realize that such a pursuit is a losing proposition and trade it in for becoming more godly and honoring to Christ. Personally, the latter seems more possible since I just don’t see my future being a Joan Rivers imitation (plastic surgery after plastic surgery).

I’ve been fortunate to have a number of female role models in my life: mom, aunts, grandmothers. All aged and all chose to age gracefully, wrinkles, and gray hair and all! And while a few dollars of Miss Clairol might (temporarily) cover the gray, at some point no amount of Maybelline is going to conceal the wrinkles . . . or the age freckles . . . or the sags.

Who cares?

Life is much more than simply about what I look like. There’s so much to do and see and enjoy! So many people into whom I can invest my resources (rather than myself). If I throw out my mirrors (or at least only use them briefly to make sure my head’s on straight!) and focus instead upon the joy of seeing another young child fed or another family led to the Lord, I think that I’ll be better off. That, I think, is the “good sense” of which Proverbs speaks. After all, in the long run – eternity – which is more important? That I continued to look like at twenty-year-old long after I hit my forties (or fifties) or that I used my resources (time, money) to help spread the gospel? That I focused on myself and my own “beauty,” or that I ministered to those around me and helped them see the beauty inside of themselves?

Copyright 2008 by Robin L. O’Hare. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission. Permission to reproduce will be given by author by contacting servinggodalone @ yahoo.com. All copies must be reproduced in their entirety and distributed without cost.

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