11.20.2014

Outward beauty vs. inner beauty : the constant battle

I have a question for you:

Is outward beauty more important that inner beauty?

I have been asking myself for a little over a month now ... why?  Perhaps it's because I see people around me taking more care in how they look, rather than what the state of their heart is.  Perhaps it's because I witness people around me entering into relationships only because the other is extremely handsome or extremely beautiful.  What ever the reason is, the question still remains, which is more important?

Before I reveal the answer, why don't we a little study on what inner beauty is shall we.  Then we will see what the Bible says about inner beauty, and that should tell us which one is important.  Let's begin ;)

What is inner beauty?
This is a question that I have always stumbled on in answering .... am I the only one?  If you were to have asked my friend's little sister (which I didn't intend to do when she was 5) you will get an answer like this (the young girl took the question literally):

"Ali, a person can't be beautiful on the inside... the inside of a person is just plain ugly!"

I have to be honest ... I have never been able to come up with a good explanation of inner beauty, so here is what the Urban Dictionary defines inner beauty as:

Inner beauty basically means being a generally good person. Being kind, honest, etc.

Many people think inner beauty is just a phrase "used for ugly people to make them feel better about themselves." People who think that are sorely mistaken.

Not all people who have inner beauty are "ugly," in fact, many people with inner beauty also have outer beauty. So you can't just look at someone and know if they have inner beauty, you have to get to know them first.

Ever heard the phrase, "It's what's on the inside that counts"? It's true.
She doesn't have any inner beauty, the only thing she has is her looks.

This is how I've always thought of inner beauty as, but have always been afraid (I guess you could say) of pubicly sharing it as such (not to mention, it sounded better than mine haha :P)

What does the Bible say about inner beauty?
So we know that inner beauty is basically about our attitude, how we treat others, etc.  Here are a few verses that talk about inner beauty.

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." 
Proverbs 31:30

~ Is it wrong to desire to look our best?  Absolutely not!  It is wrong however, if you spend two hours in front of the mirror, making sure your hair is absolutley perfect, and your make-up is absolutley perfect, etc.  Remember, we won't be praised for how "perfect" we make ourselves ... we will be praised by our fear of the Lord!

"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.” 
1 Samuel 16:7

~ If you aren't familiar with the story, Samuel went to the house of Jesse in order to anoint the next king of Israel.  Samuel was about to anoint a young man who was tall and handsome (just like Saul, who had recently died), and the Lord commanded Samuel with the above verse.  Samuel then asked Jesse if he had any more sons, and Jesse brought in David who was "ruddy, and withal o fa beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to" ... right then the Lord commanded Samuel to anoint David as the next king of Israel.

The most important thing to take from this verse is this: God looks at the heart, therefore, we should look at the heart too.  
>> If that means that a couple waits to go further in their relationship because they need to really see what they are like on the inside, then great!
If that means that you end up only being aquaintances with someone who is beautiful/handsome, only because inwardly they are (in the 5 year olds words) "ugly", then good for you!
>>Don't base all your decisions on what the outside looks like .... you could get yourself into a lot of trouble ... truuuust me!

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 
1 Peter 3:3-4

~ Here are a couple more characteristics of inner beauty: a gentle and quiet spirit.

Instead of adorning yourself to "enhance" your outward beauty, focus on "enhancing" your inner beauty.
>>One thing I admire about the Amish ... they don't exhert all their energy in the latest fashion trends, make-up secrets, making sure their hair is "perfect", making sure their shoes math their outfit, just so they can be outwardly beautiful.  They exhert that energy elsewhere, and focus on being simple and plain, so others will be drawn to them by their character (inner beauty).

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 
2 Corinthians 4:16

~I don't know why, but I have always loved this verse.  Perhaps it's because it mentions that while outward beauty wastes away, our inner beauty is being renewed (meaning it will never waste away).  I truly think believe that that's why I love the verse so much.
>>This verse has caused me to think about what my grandpa once told me:
"When we die, eventually our loved ones, our friends, our co-workers, etc., will forget what we looked like, what we wore, how we wore our hair, how we wore our make-up, if our shoes matched every outfit, etc.  But they will never forget how we were kind/unkind, selfless/selfish, caring/careless, etc.  No matter how much emphasis we put into how we look, the only thing that will matter in the end is what we say, think, or do."
(ps. the link on my grandpa was from my very first blog - which I have never been able to get back into haha)

So ... which one is more important?  Outward beauty or inner beauty?
If you answered inner beauty, then congratulations (I'm very sorry, but there is no prize for you, the lucky winner haha).

I pray this post was of help to any of you and that y'all have a great night!!!

In HIS grace, Alisha
     xoxoxoxox

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