Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 16:7
People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions. 1 Samuel 16:7
Catherine is beautiful enough to grace the cover of a fashion magazine. She looks as comfortable decked out in diamonds and a black evening gown as the rest of us look grubbed out in a sweatshirt and jeans. Her elegance and charm fit right in at the parties of the rich and famous.
So why is she crawling around in a sewer?
In the old television series Beauty and the Beast, Catherine hangs out underground with Vincent the man-beast. It’s an old story in a new setting. And the whole show revolves around one gigantic question: What does she see in him? A gorgeous woman in love with a half-man, half-lion who lives in abandoned subway tunnels—what’s up with that?
So how can a beauty love a beast? Catherine is attracted to Vincent not because of how he looks, but in spite of it. She loves the guy under the lion’s mane. She likes him for his kindness . . . and maybe for his marvelous voice too.
Talk about it: How does our world say we’re supposed to look to qualify as beautiful? Why does Catherine’s love for the beast seem so weird to us?
Lots of people buy the idea that looks are everything. Television, magazines, movies, and videos all tell us that people who lack the looks of supermodels are ugly.
Christians don’t have to be ugly. But we can be happy without looking like a girl in a skin-cleanser commercial or a guy selling a bodybuilding machine. There’s far more to beauty than clear skin and bulging biceps. The greatest beauty more often comes from the inside. God chose David to be king of Israel not because of his looks or the bulk of his muscles, but because of the upright attitude of his heart.
Beauty as the world defines it often isn’t a blessing. Being stunning on the outside is no guarantee you won’t be filled with loneliness, insecurity, and unhappiness on the inside.
Truth is, if you think that the color of your hair or the brand of your clothes will bring you happiness, you’re sure to be disappointed. Clothes can be cool, but they aren’t as important as what you can’t see in the mirror. God is thrilled with how he made your outsides. But he’s even more thrilled to see your inner qualities shine.
TALK: How are you trying to spot in yourself—and in others—a beauty that is more than skin deep?
PRAY: Lord, develop in us the inner attitudes that you find beautiful.
ACT: Look for ads on TV and in magazines that communicate the false idea that outward beauty is what really matters in life.