Ask a Christian whether the world came about by evolution or creation and most will tell you creation. Ask a Christian whether it’s ok to engage in sex before marriage and most will say “no,” even if the world thinks totally different. Ask a believer if Jesus is indeed the son of God and many will concur, even though the world sees Him as a good teacher and/or just a prophet.
There are many ways that we as Christians look at things completely differently than the world. However, when it comes to beauty and what is really valuable in a person, most of us just fall in line with what everybody else thinks is beautiful. For the most part, we value what the world values because we judge with the wrong instrument…our eyes instead of our minds.
When God was picking the king of Israel (2 Samuel 16), Samuel made the mistake of assuming that God was going to pick Eliab (David’s brother) because of his strong demeanor. To his assumption God replied, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God [sees] not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
This verse has always filled me with awe because I know that I rarely evaluate a person by who they are rather than what they look like. Trust me that I do try to look at the heart, but a lot of the time I find that I will not assume that a good-looking person is a better person, but I do give them more of a chance to impress me than someone who would be considered a social outcast. I feel horrible about this confession, but I couldn’t say otherwise, because the Lord knows my heart and he knows that it’s true.
We cannot look at the outward appearance while God is looking at the heart. If we want to be more like Him, we must see like He does. God is not impressed with clear skin, thick hair, and white teeth. Sure, he created them, but he never valued them more then thinning hair and a crooked smile. He knows that those attributes are completely insignificant. And I am so thankful, because what kind of God would we serve were he giving favor to someone because they were skinny?
Let this serve as a reminder, as it does for me, that the way the world thinks should usually look very different from the way we think. God has clearly told us in His word that a person’s thoughts and intentions are what matter, so let’s start looking at those and then decide what is beautiful. Let’s admire a person because they have an undying love and outpouring of their life for God, not because they work out or wear the right clothes.