Bible Study Part #6
Beauty & The Bible
What DOES the bible say about looks?
1 Timothy 2:9-10 “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, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 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.”
Merriam Webster defines Modest as unpretentious; neither bold nor self-assertive.
The world communicates that physical, external beauty is first and internal, spiritual beauty should be considered somewhere down the line, if at all. At every turn, we are bombarded with images of “flawless”, young, thin men and women who seemingly have everything…all together…all the time. Rubbish! Trust me when I tell you that no one looks like those magazine covers in real life, not even the models that pose for those photos. Thousands of dollars of ‘photo-shop’ and other computer magic is used on every cover photo we see.
We must not allow ourselves to be lulled into the trap set by our enemy. This trap uses the world’s fraudulent and fictitious definition of “true beauty” as gospel truth (1 John 2:16)
Remember, the enemy was all about his beauty (Isaiah 14:12-14). In speaking of the future of Tyre’s prince, Ezekiel prophesied destruction for the prince, then told Ezekiel to “raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre:
Ezekiel 28:17 “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.”
Satan became so impressed with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that he began to desire for himself the honor and glory that belonged to God alone. The sin that corrupted Satan was self-generated pride. It was his ruin in the end (Revelation 20:1-3).
Our enemy assaults our minds for the sole purpose of making us believe his lies. He longs for us to be unsatisfied with our appearance when we look in the mirror. He wants you to compare yourself to others. However, Paul encourages us to be content in whatever state [we are] in (Philippians 4:11-12)
Comparison kills Contentment!
May I suggest an easy solution?
- Drop the comparison…and
- Pray right where you are. Pray against the enemy. Let him know that he is not welcome here.
- Memorize and apply Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
What we believe directly affects our behavior. Our focus must be on health, not beauty. External beauty is not of importance to God, but our inner beauty and inner health is (1 Samuel 16:7) The state of our health is the vehicle in which we live out the gospel.
Comparison and the Psyche:
Comparison is the thief of joy. You’re still crushing your workout, your nutrition has been spot-on, and it’s still a beautiful day. All that’s changed is that you’re comparing yourself to “person X”.
That friend is your inner critic. That voice that tells you that whatever you’re currently doing isn’t good enough, because so and so over there is doing it better. Seriously, your inner critic is a jerk. Would you hang out with a friend who talked to you this way? Of course not.
Your inner critic also loves to jump to conclusions. Instead, we want you to tell your inner critic to zip it, and tell one thing you’re proud of today! the only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday, as your aim should be to progress a little everyday. So, rather than focusing on that person’s cheeseburger, celebrate and enjoy the healthy meal you’ve just ordered. But more importantly, celebrate you.
Learning to Pursue the Right Goal
Goal setting can be tricky. But creating attainable goals for your all-around health is possible, as you will see in a later study. As an example: A general goal of “I want to tone my abs” WON’T fly here. A more measurable, and thus attainable goal is: “I want to strengthen my core. I will measure that by how long I can hold a plank” Do you see the difference? The first is all about aesthetics – false health. The second is all about a healthy temple that will enable you to serve the Lord well. We must change our mentality with respect to fitness and wellness!
1Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Nowhere in the Bible does it command you to be a certain weight, to be a certain height, to have a specific hair color or texture. Therefore, it is time to stand strong against our enemy and refocus our attention to becoming a strong child of God in all five areas of our health.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
Seek Ye First…
This familiar passage in Matthew 6, speaks to the importance of focusing on God through Jesus Christ. Jesus explains when we seek Him first, then everything else we need will fall into its proper place (Matthew 6:25-34). Similar thinking holds for fitness. We should have discipline over our physical bodies in order to endure and become all things necessary for the gospel. But our focus on fitness should should be held in perspective:
- We should have more focus than an Olympian when it comes to the gospel (1 Timothy 4:7-9)
- Our bodies are a means to an end, not the end in and of themselves (a newer to idea bodybuilding in the late 19th century, when exhibitions of strength became popular).
- Today, our outlook on fitness can be non-functional (bodybuilding). As if fitness is 100% atheistic. However, true fitness is the opposite. It’s 100% functional and creates in us the capacity to be better servants for the gospel.
1 Cor 9:27 “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
- What are you doing to live a healthy life?
- Is there anything in you that says you’re not truly stewarding your temple well and/or honoring God?
- How does your behavior demonstrate what you believe regarding your health?
The MissionFiT Team