Daily Devotional for Monday September 1, 2003

The drive to be beautiful

( Psalms 49:14 )

The drive to be beautiful. It is amazing to me, how we live in a society where being beautiful is such an incredible asset. Women who have been blessed with natural beauty have incredible advantages in most areas of life. Because of the importance our society places on beauty, it has become an all-consuming drive for too many. In recent years, this has now also become a very big issue for many men. The problem with chasing beauty, is the same problem people who crave money have. It is an unquenchable thirst that can never be satisfied.

There will always be someone who is more beautiful, more perfect. This drive to be beautiful powers multibillion dollar a year industries like cosmetics, clothing, hair, and cosmetic surgery. There is an insatiable drive to be beautiful that many women chase throughout their entire lifetime. This is a problem not only for women who are without Christ, but also for women who know Jesus as their Savior. In many cases it is actually a sin since it takes priority over a person's relationship with Christ.

We have all heard many times that beauty is only skin deep, and true beauty is what is on the inside, not the outside. That sounds good, and is actually true. But in reality, it is not how we live. ***Let me say right here, that men are as much to blame for this problem as women are! Men have put incredible pressure on women to look a certain way, to be beautiful at all times. If men were as concerned about a woman's inner beauty as her outer beauty, I believe women would not be as fanatical as many are to be "beautiful." This problem must be addressed by men as well as women.

Of course, the answer to this problem lies in the realization by women and by men of who we are in Christ. We are new creations, beautiful in God's sight, not because of our outward appearance but because our hearts have been cleansed and sin washed away. It is amazing how we can get consumed by something like beauty during these short years we have this life. These clay bodies we are using for this time came from the dust of the earth and will one day return to the dust of the earth. I hate to be so blatant, but that is exactly what we are trying to make and keep beautiful.

Let me say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, have a good appearance, and maintaining ourselves the best we can during this life. As a matter of fact, I believe the Lord wants us in good shape, looking our best so that we can be the best servants for Him possible during this life. The problem though is the insatiable consuming desire for beauty that this society has pressured many women into trying to attain and maintain. If the same effort went into our service for Him, it would be incredible all the additional work for the Kingdom that would be accomplished!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I want to encourage you today to honestly ask God today if you are putting too much emphasis on your outward appearance, and not enough on your inward relationship with Him each day. I love you and pray for you, and have never even met most of you. I love you because the Lord has placed love in my heart for you, not because of what you look like, but because of who you are. His creation, someone He loved enough to send His son to die for, someone He loves and cares for.

God loves you not because of what you look like, but because you are His child! Let that truth take hold in your heart today, and go forward knowing you are truly beautiful in God's eyes. Would you rather be beautiful to a world that will one day not exist, or to your God who you will be spending eternity with? Make sure your drive to be beautiful is in God's eyes first.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller