Tuesday, March 22, 2011
True and False Beauty
"Hearing a young lady highly praised for her beauty, Gotthold asked, 'What kind of beauty do you mean? Merely that of the body, or that also of the mind? I see well that you have been looking no further than the sign which nature displays outside the house, but have never asked for the host who dwells within. Beauty is an excellent gift of God, nor has the pen of the Holy Spirit forgotten to speak its praise; but it is virtuous and godly beauty alone which Scripture honors, expressly declaring, on the other hand, that a fair woman which is with out discretion is as a jewel of gold in a swine's snout (Proverbs 11: 22) Many a pretty girl is like the flower called the Imperial Crown, which is admired, no doubt, for it's showy appearance, but despised for it's unpleasant odor. Were her mind as free from pride, selfishness, luxury and levity, as her countenance from spots and wrinkles, and could she govern her inward inclinations as she does her external carriage, she would have none to match her. But who loves the caterpillar and such insects, however showy their appearance, and bright and variegated the colors that adorn them, seeing they injure and defile the trees and plants on which they settle? What the better is an apple for its rosy skin, if the maggot have penetrate and devoured its heart? What care I for the beautiful brown nut, if it be worm eaten, and fill the mouth with corruption? Even so external beauty of person deserves no praise, unless matched with the inward beauty of virtue and holiness. It is therefore, far better to acquire beauty than to be born with it. The best kind is that which does not wither at the touch of fever, like a flower, but lasts and endures on a bed of sickness in old age, and even unto death.'
~ taken from 6000 Sermon Illustrations, an alphabetical collection from leaders and writers of the ages, by Elon Foster
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman who fear the Lord, she will be praised."