Fashion and appearance reign supreme today. Advertising bombards us with ways to improve our appearance on a daily basis. People are being told they are not good looking enough, so why not try botox, plastic surgery like their role models?
The Bible tells us that we need to take a different approach to appearance than fitting into society’s idea of beauty.
What God finds important
God doesn’t focus on our outward appearance. It is what’s on the inside that matters most to Him. The Bible tells us that God’s focus is on developing our inner beauty so that it can be reflected in everything we do and what we are.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror.” – James 1:23
Physical appearance is important to God in that it reveals the glory of His creative abilities. So we should appreciate the beauty God has given us as His most complex and amazing creation. God crafted each of us (Jeremiah 1:5) to look exactly as we do, for His own perfect reasons. Despite our very best efforts, man will never be able to come close to the beauty and majesty of God.
Our very bodies were formed in His image. In ways we cannot understand, we reflect His own beauty. God places some value on appearances; if He did not, we would all look the same. It is not a wrong thing for us to notice and appreciate physical appearance as well.
God judges our hearts, Not our physical appearance
It should be remembered that God judges our hearts, not our physical appearance. It is the inner man that is an even greater creation. We have souls that will never be destroyed, that live on forever in heaven or hell. Our hearts, too, are capable of so many thoughts and feelings, reflections of the complexities of God. We should not fall into the trap of believing that our looks are to be a source of pride or envy. Our true beauty should come from inside, not from the fleshly beauty that the world judges us on.
In 1 Peter 3:3-5, Peter tells wives that their “beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.”
Outward appearance should not be our focus
Our outward appearance should not be our focus. If the reason we try to be the perfect weight, wear the best clothes, have facial treatments, etc., is to impress other people, then our physical appearance has become a matter of pride. We should be humbly aware of our appearance rather than acting to conform to the world’s standards. Matthew 23:12 says, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
We must watch out for anything that draws us away from God, including the too-often extreme emphasis the world places on appearances. God does not want us to love the world or anything in it (1 John 2:15), and we are not to think as the world does (Romans 12:2). God has shown us His own amazing power and beauty and love in an incredibly diverse creation. We should be humble, not committing idolatry in worshiping the creation rather than the creator (Colossians 3:5).
Answer 2 questions on your physical appearance
1. Does your focus on your appearance take your eyes off the Lord?
2. Are you more focused on your weight, clothes, or makeup than you are on God?
If you answered, “Yes” to either of the questions then you may need to take a closer look at your priorities. The Bible tells us to look closer at our hearts and actions rather than our presentation and appearance.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
Conclusion : Remember These Two Points
1. You are an amazing creation who was made by the Creator of the universe, and every time you wake up in the morning, you are a testimony to the creativity of our God. Psalm 139:13 tells us how God wove you in your mother’s womb. Nothing man can ever create now or in times past can even come close to God’s creations. So in that sense, yes, you should care about your physical appearance as far as nurturing and caring for the body that God has given you.
2. God judges the inward heart, not the outward appearance. Your heart is where your true beauty lies. As amazing as the shell that contains all that makes you, it pales in comparison to the beauty of your inner self (1 Peter 3:3-5).