The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Part IV
The last two lies examined by Nancy Leigh Demoss this week have much to do with image.
- Physical Beauty Matters More Than Inner Beauty
- I Should Not Have To Live With Unfulfilled Longings
Physical Beauty Is Matters More Than Inner Beauty
It is ingrained in us that how we look is important. The significance of appearance as become a definer of the human condition. Some might even call it an obsession. Regardless of age as well as gender, everyone has an image of what they ideally want or need to look like. After all the more attractive a person is the more doted on they are, right? This could also work for the reverse. The less appealing we look the more likely we are to be subject to mockery and even rejection. Kindness, honesty, reliability, are just not as alluring when it comes to a nice figure, silky hair, pearly white teeth, and perfect makeup application.
This same horrible perception began with Eve.
Genesis 3:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
The fruit in the garden did have many assets. However, Eve was drawn by the physical beauty of the fruit. Inner qualities of immense value like trust and obedience did not quite measure up in her book. Eve’s prioritizing outer beauty made her easy prey to the enemy’s lies.
What Happens When Outer Beauty Becomes More Important Than Inner Beauty?
If you are familiar with the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, then you will understand what I mean when I say this. When we become so fixated on image that little else matters we become cursed princes or princesses. Basically we become Beasts and not in a good way.
Not familiar with the story? I will put it this way instead. Focusing on our outer beauty will inevitably make us feel like dry cake or stale bread, pretty crummy.
We start looking at others in envy. We see ourselves as fat, unfit, as well as flawed beings because we do not have the perfect image.
The Results of a False View Of Beauty
- Immodest Dress
- Eating Disorders
- Drug Abuse (Steroids)
The Truth About Beauty
Proverbs 31:30 New International Version (NIV)
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
1 Peter 3:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands
Does this mean that it is sinful or wrong to care for our outward appearances?
BY NO MEANS!
It becomes sin when physical appearances take preside over matters of the heart. How do we do this? How do we place what is on the inside over what is on the outside? In the New Testament Paul exhorts women to modesty. This to me, is the key for brothers and sisters in faith alike to avoid the bondage of physical beauty.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 New International Version (NIV)
9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
When we present ourselves to others, we need not dress elegantly, gadding ourselves with what wealth we may have. Instead, we need present ourselves at our best spiritually, emotionally, as well as mentally. For we are not judged eternally by the color of our dresses, slacks, lipstick, or watches…but by the condition of our hearts!
I Should Not Have To Live With Unfulfilled Longings
Society now seems to have the mindset that there is an answer or solution to all your longings. Should we find ourselves lacking something, it us up to us to do what is necessary to obtain that which we desire. If we want some attention, make a scene. If we want change, start a protest. If you are lonely, bear your heart to that attractive guy or girl at work regardless of their marital status.
No matter what our longings may be there is a sure way to go about obtaining it.
- How To Books
- Romance Novels
- Shopping Sprees
- New Hairstyle, Wardrobe, House, Perfume, Car, Husband, etc.
Even with all these things there is a likeliness that there is still an emptiness inside. No material thing can fill that void either.
The Truth About Longing
Romans 8:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
- We Will Always Have Unfulfilled Longings – If we had all our hearts desires then we would have no need for Heaven. Having longings is not necessarily a sinful thing. It is when we demand those yearnings fulfilled here and now or meeting those desires in illegitimate ways that can lead us to sin.
- The Deepest Longings Of Our Hearts Cannot Be Filled By Any Created Person or Thing. Everything can be broken, lost, or stolen. People too can move, change, hurt, or fail you. People can also pass away.
- If I Accept My Longings, They Will Increase My Longing For God and For Heaven.
Psalm 16:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 34:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Philippians 3:20-4:1 New International Version (NIV)
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!