Friday, November 30, 2012

Vanity Makes You Ugly

(photo credit Gareth Weeks)

Proverbs 11:22
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
Vanity makes you ugly. It contributes to your uglification. You know it’s true. And that’s why your vanity bothers you. You love it and you hate it. You don't want to give it up. Yet you are ashamed that you want to keep it and feed it.

You’ve seen vanity in other people.

Do you admire it? No.

Does it bother you? Yes.

What do you do? You criticize it. You mock it. You are sarcastic. You make fun. Why do you that (at least in your mind, if not out loud)? Why do you criticize and mock and make fun?

Well, because it's ugly.

True. also mock and make fun because you're trying to get the unflattering fluorescent lights of conviction off of your own vanity. You’re creating a diversion.

You keep looking in the mirror, and you don't like what you see. 
And you don't like that you keep needing to look in the mirror in hopes of liking what you see.
And you don't want others to look at your vanity (ever been in a public bathroom in front of the mirror and jumped when the door opened?).
You don't want them to see the ugliness of your vain quest for beauty. 
So you create a diversion. You try to get the attention off of your ugly vain heart. And what better target than all those vain beauty seekers out there?

This is slavery.

Jesus died to set us free. Jesus died to secure our souls with his love (not based on our performance or how we "look"). Jesus died to make us beautiful from the inside out.

The mirror is a merciless master. The truth of what we see hurts, and we try, oh we try, to cover it up. It's vain slavery. It's a chasing after the wind.

There's freedom in humbly facing the mirror of the Word (see James 1:21-25).

For the women (and men):
Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
For the men (and women):
1 Samuel 16:7
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."
When we look in the mirror of the Word, the truth of what we see hurts. But it's a pain that heals. Honesty and repentance over our soul's ugliness draws down the grace of God that makes us truly beautiful.