Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tipping the Scales in Favor of Spiritual Growth
Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised"
The other day, I was lamenting the fact that, due to having a 4 and 1 year old, most of my mornings find me running out the door with wet hair and "mom" clothes. If I were honest, though, the fact I consistently appear less dazzling doesn't mean I still don't desire to be put together, have those cute outfits and perfectly coiffed hair.
Ladies, we all spend inordinate amounts of time on our appearance. You might shake your head no and insist you've never been one for makeup and clothes, but there are various facets of taking care of your appearance. Where do you spend your time: shopping for clothes, getting fresh makeup, painting your nails, going to hair appointments and styling your hair, pouring over fashion magazines, dieting, exercising, or even just unconsciously sizing up other women on what they are wearing or how they look? Even if this is all in balance and vanity is not a sin issue, we all must admit we enjoy looking nice.
However, as Christian women, what is more important--our exterior appearance or our inward character? Did you spend as much time in the Word or studying godliness as you did doing ANY or all of the above today? If we are honest, many women fall short of spending as much time on inward sanctification as they do on making their outward appearance beautiful.
We definitely need to take care of the bodies God gave us and look attractive for our husbands, but this pales in comparison to our need to pursue holiness before our Creator.
I thought of a silly illustration: Imagine I buy my husband a work shirt so he can look nice at work. I want him to look put together at his meetings and to be thought of as a professional by his bosses. What if he started obsessing about the shirt instead of his actual work? He suddenly spent inordinate amounts of time ironing, washing, resewing buttons, and smoothing his shirt. He even suddenly started working less on projects at work because he wanted to spend more time taking care of his precious shirt at work. What? That is just silliness and completely misusing the gift I gave him! In fact, it is taking away from the exact purpose of my gift--to be a professional, hard worker!
That is what we are doing to a degree when we take the gift of our bodies and spend inordinate amounts of time on fleshly desires rather than on the spiritual needs and purposes that God gives us. Our over-focus on the gift and not adequately doing our spiritual jobs is silly and misplaced.
In addition, as Proverbs 31:30 reminds us, when we become overly interested in staying beautiful and physically perfect, we are bound to be disappointed. As my pastor says, we are all bananas. We are unripe for days on end, beautiful and "perfect" in appearance for what seems a couple of hours, and rotting, ugly fruit going downhill for the remainder of our earthly time. The beauty fades, but time invested in sanctification and holiness will never be wasted or wane.
Ladies, don't necessarily stop spending time getting ready and put together each morning (though we can all double check how much of our time that encompasses), but make sure that your number one time and mind-set priority is delving into the Word of God and pursuing ways to do God's will for you.