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March 28, 1992

Inner Beauty

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Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. PROVERBS 11:22
Society puts a great deal of value on physical beauty, especially for women. Professional women are expected to conform to certain standards of physical appearance and then are judged by how they measure up—or fail to. Entire industries have been created to nurture society’s obsession with how women look: fashion, beauty products, magazines, salons, fitness, and the list goes on.
But the writer of Proverbs says that beauty, whether natural or created, is thrown away if not paired with a character that shines as brightly inside as a beautiful exterior does outside. Getting all prettied up on the outside while our insides remain ugly is like ornamenting a pig that loves to roll in the mud and eat slop from a trough with a valuable piece of jewelry. The contrast is ridiculous.
What exactly is discretion? The word literally means “taste,” and it’s used elsewhere in Scripture to mean both intellectual and moral perception. Abigail, David’s wife, had it and was praised for it. The woman of Proverbs 31 had it. Discretion is being able to tell right from wrong, true from false, worthy from unworthy. It also means keeping a sharp eye out for opportunities to do good for other people and then following through.
What would we be able to accomplish if we spent as much time obsessing with our inner character as we did with our outward appearance? When will we learn to ignore the messages of society telling us we’ll be judged by how we look and realize that it’s more important what we do?

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