“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity .” Ecclesiastes 1:2
Vanity (excessive pride, especially in personal appearance) has overtaken our “civilized” society and in turn has become the very basis for economic growth and corporate success. Aisle after aisle in every superstore is filled with products designed to make a person look better than they really are or artificially feel better than they really feel.
Hair products, skin products, eye products, teeth products, clothing products etc are all marketed with the understanding that without them, a person is inferior, ugly or a social reject. Models on magazine covers and actors on television and in movies all project an image that most people use to measure their own beauty, sexuality and desirability by.
All these “beautiful people” are not real. They have been coated with makeup, forced to eat nothing to look super slim and dressed with clothing that accentuates every curve and screams “look at me” to everyone watching. Truly this entire realm is nothing but the marketing of evil.
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, “Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him; for the Lord sees not as man sees. For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart .” 1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord is repulsed by all attempts to impress Him through dressing up the outward appearance. God looks on the heart and all the makeup in the world cannot change the state of one’s heart. God does not look on how pretty, handsome, gorgeous or perfect a person is on the outside but rather how tender, meek, thankful and loving they are on the inside.
Jesus Christ had much to say about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees which included their vain attempts to look good on the outside while being corrupt and evil on the inside. Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus bolder than in Matthew 23. Look at what Jesus says in verse 7:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness .”
The truth of the matter is that most religious people spend all their time trying to scrub and polish the outside while doing nothing to change their heart or develop a closer relationship with God. It makes no difference to God how beautiful a person looks if they are nothing but dead bones on the inside.
A person can have the whitest teeth on earth, have the most beautiful hair in town, have no wrinkles or blemishes on their face etc and still not be saved. A person can spend two hours every day in front of the mirror making themselves look stunning and still spend eternity separated from God. A person can spend thousands of dollars to have a perfect smile and be the personification of evil on the inside.
Always remember that God looks on our hearts and thus it behooves us to guard our hearts in Christ Jesus through study of God’s Word and actively seeking to change within. Just as Adam and Eve could not hide from God so all attempts to impress God through vanity will fail miserably. God cannot be fooled nor can He be wooed by outward beauty.
"For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart .” 1 Samuel 16:7
Some of the most beautiful people I've know -were not beautiful on the outside, but because of the inward beauty that shined through you just never noticed the outward appearance. Then again some of the few outwardly beautiful people I've known were very ugly to be around. Being arrogant, self centered and obsessed with their outward beauty.
There's an old saying " don't judge a book by it's cover". We need to look beyond the cover and discover what's inside.
I agree with what you an Pooh has said. While some beautiful book covers do contain some beautiful stories inside (I know a few people like this), the sad reality is that many do not. I have a few very ragged books in my bookcases, B2Y. There's one that I have worn the cover off of and others that are stained with tears and have dog-eared pages from my thumbing through them so much. Though I have read them countless times, the "story" or words speak to me so much that I continue to re-visit them time and time again. May the story we contain be so beautiful, be such a blessing to others that they are drawn to it time and time again.
You are so right B2Y, everything is marketed to give the impression that if you have this, look like this, smell like this, feel like this, etc. etc., you will be one of the accepted ones. The sad thing is we know people are buying it. If they weren't then the suppliers of these things wouldn't be using it to sell their products. And not only has the world bought it, Christians have also. There are Christians in every congregation that are judging people by the way they look. I'm not saying they do it intentionaly, it's that it has literally been pounded into them their whole lives and many have subconsciously adopted it as a standard. But as you pointed out the world may tell us the standard is looks, God tells us it is love.
Yours in Christ,