Saturday, September 27, 2008

Unattractive Adornment

Another substitute, which used to be mainly directed toward women, but I can actually see men falling prey to as well now, is the strong temptation to substitute external appeal for internal beauty.  1 Peter 3.3-4 says:

Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.”  (1Pet 3:3-4 AMP)

Remember now, Scripture is not saying externals are totally unimportant... but that externals are not as important as internals.   Physical appearance is indeed significant.  The warning here is that it not be your primary focus or emphasis.  Being subjected to the relentless bombardment of the media, you will have difficultly keeping this proper scale of priorities.  Such pressure will strong tempt you to substitute a beautiful body, attractive clothing and exquisite accessories for lack of quality within.  God says:  "DON'T DO IT!!!"

Cecil Osborne refers to a person who possesses this over-emphasis on the externals as a "narcissistic woman."  She is one who...

...has an inordinate self-love.  She is unduly preoccupied with her face, her body, and often with her own interests, which she perceives as an extension of herself...
A man married to a narcissistic woman is in for trouble.  If the world does not continue to priase her and if he does not cater to her infantile whims, she may develop any number of physical or emotional symptoms...
A narcissistic woman constantly seeks to be the center of attention.  She seeks flattery and is engaged in constnt battle for popularity.  She is sometimes a 'psychic scalp collector,' flirting with men in order to prove to herself that she has not lost her attractiveness...

For the woman who genuinely wants to be a godly wife, my advice is to give greater attention to your inner person - those "imperishable qualities" - than to your physical attractiveness.  In the long run, believe me, your husband will be much more satisfied and stimulated over your inner beauty!

Really, I can't say enough  about the dangers of focusing on decking yourself out with the latest fashion and labels.  First of all, there are WAY too many other things to spend our ever-shrinking dollar on.  Secondly, although it's nice to have a certain nice thing or two, it is important to realize that a $500 purse or pair of earrings does NOT make you ANY happier than a $25 purse or pair of earrings!  So be wise and keep your focus!   Be BEAUTIFUL INSIDE and you won't need to focus disproportionately on the externals!

Challenge:  This week concentrate on how much TIME you spend on your "external" beauty, and how much TIME you spend developing and demonstrating character by helping others less fortunate, spending time in the Word, in Church ministry, etc.  Balance out the getting and giving; the "inner" beauty and the "outer"!
Recommended reading and where this excerpt is from:
Strike the Original Match, Chuck Swindoll

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