Not all of them are walking among the supermodels, pageant winners or movie stars of the world. No. Some of the most beautiful people on the planet are waiting tables in restaurants, teaching in public schools, raising children and working on farms. They are everywhere!
Because she was the first and only woman created by Almighty God, Eve was likely the most beautiful woman who ever lived. But after she and her husband, Adam, rebelled against God, she was doubtless still beautiful, though her beauty was now only skin deep. Her beauty was a gift from God and some of her offspring inherited more of it than others.
When I was an adolescent I thought Elizabeth Taylor in her prime was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I could not stop staring at her. Of course, physical beauty fades. It can also lead to problems that inner beauty rarely brings. For example, because she was so beautiful, Taylor had more than her share of male attention and temptation. It led to several scandals which she later regretted.
Did you know in the Bible, men and women are described as outwardly beautiful? Sarai and Rebekah are called “very beautiful” women, at Genesis 12:11 and Genesis 24:16 — New Living Translation. According to Job 42:15, “Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters.” — New International Version.
Regarding King David’s son Absalom, 2 Samuel 14:25 said, “But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.”
Genesis 39:6 even described Joseph as “a very handsome and well-built young man.” — New Living Translation. But in the case of Joseph, he had more than just physical beauty.
You may recall, out of jealousy, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he was bought by a military officer named Potiphar. Joseph was eventually put in charge of Potiphar’s household. Then, According to Genesis 39:10-20, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him several times but Joseph refused to commit this sin against God.
This enraged Potiphar’s scorned wife to the point that she lyingly accused him of making immoral advancements toward her! He was thrown into prison. But God blessed Joseph for his faithfulness, according to Genesis 41:38-51. Yes, Joseph’s inner beauty, based on faith in God, was more important and outlasted his physical beauty.
Author Martin Buxbaum said, “Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty — they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.”
Is that the kind of beauty you seek — inner beauty? Although some research suggests beautiful people often receive special breaks and privileges, the playing field is always equal in the sight of God. How so?
As God told the prophet Samuel at 1Samuel 16:7, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” — New International Version.
While the cosmetic industry generates hundreds of billions of dollars each year from people trying to look younger and more attractive, the real question is how much time and energy are people spending on improving the beauty that truly counts with God?
The New International Reader’s Version of 1Peter 3:3-4 reads: “Braiding your hair doesn’t make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn’t make you beautiful. Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like that doesn’t fade away. God places great value on it.”
Qualities like kindness, tact, compassion, showing forgiveness, being understanding, patient, peaceful and loyal are beautiful to behold in anyone. They often enhance the physical appearance of men and women.
If we strive to develop inner beauty based on God’s Word, He will bless our efforts in a way physical beauty alone could never bring.
Psalm 149:4 said, “For Jehovah is taking pleasure in his people. He beautifies the meek ones with salvation.” — New World Translation.
I agree with advice columnist Amy Alkon who wrote in “Psychology Today,” that “a healthy approach to beauty is neither pretending it’s unnecessary or unimportant nor making it important beyond all else.”
Having a balanced view of physical beauty is so important in a world where good looks overshadow good manners. God’s view of beauty is different. It covers all creation — great and small. As Ecclesiastes 3:11 said, “He hath made everything beautiful in its time.”
*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.