Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Be like a Gold Ring in Pig's Snout (Cultivate Your Inner Beauty)

A beautiful woman who lacks discretion
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout” (Proverbs 11:22, NLT).

Like a gold ring in pig’s snout
is a beautiful face on an empty head” (The Message)

Every day there are “voices” that tell us to look at the outside. No matter what the pain or cost, these voices put you in the squeeze. Voices such as ‘Richard, you need a better car. Viva is for low standard people, buy a new imported car’; or ‘Look at your clothes Thurston, what brand is this? It doesn’t suit you’; or ‘Ken, you’re fat. No girls will like you. Slim down please’; or… you add it for yourself. You know exactly what I mean.

Friends, there’s nothing wrong with outer beauty. “Gold ring” is indeed precious and beautiful. In fact, it can be honoring to God to drive big car, to wear fashionable clothes and to take care of your own body. It is better to have a “gold ring” than to have a silver ring, right? But if your “gold ring [is] in pig’s snout” (look at the picture) – it can be utterly, disastrously wrong! The Bible says that our first priority needs to be developing our inner beauty. If not, it is like a pig wearing a gold ring.

Inner beauty is the stuff that maybe isn’t as easy to see at first. Its character, which you truly are inside, is the most important of all. It’s easy to get distracted and focus on your own appearance or the appearance of others, especially when our eyes are blinded by the outer shine of our own “gold ring”. Indeed, we might have a “beautiful face” but truly inside, I fear, we are actually “empty head” or “lacks discretion”. Appear beautiful on the outside but rotten inside.

Friends, don’t be like that. Read and listen to what Apostle Peter had said about what is truly inner beauty: “Do not be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3-4). Or as what Eugene Peterson paraphrase it: “Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in”. The principle truth is important: God desires our inner beauty that is produce by His Holy Spirit who is in us.

Try your best not to let others notice what or who are you on the outside without first see more of what’s on the inside of you. Let them be fascinated by the light of God’s love and truth shining through you. Let “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit [of God]” shines through you. Let Christ be the source of your inner beauty; walking and abiding with Christ causes you to reflect His beauty. Amen.

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