Beautiful people are everywhere. Internet pop-ups and grocery checkout magazine covers are a veritable banquet of this month’s most attractive faces. But who are these people, and why are they so beautiful? Is it because they have straight teeth and flawless complexions? Are they so attractive because of their prowess on the silver screen or the athletic field? Or is it their power and wealth that makes them so handsome?
Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that our culture is infatuated with these people. And it’s also safe to say that it’s impossible for you and me not to be impressed by their seeming flawlessness.
The Israelites were being led by a beautiful person. Scripture tells us that Saul was tall and handsome . . . a sure candidate for People Magazine’s “fifty-most-beautiful-people-in-the-world” issue. But God was not happy with Saul. In fact, the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16) tells us that God had rejected him as king over Israel. Saul’s impressive exterior did not dazzle the Creator of the Universe, because, although the king’s countenance was handsome, his constitution was corrupt.
So God asked the prophet, Samuel, to go find another king. This time, however, the Lord told Samuel to look on the inside—at the character of the man—and not at how photogenic he might be on the cover of the inauguration program.
“Men look at each other on the outside,” God said, “But I look at what’s in a person’s heart!”
Think about how much effort you and I exert on our outsides. Showering, shaving, grooming, deodorizing, and dressing our bodies takes time. We also try to eat right and exercise, so we look acceptable in spite of our age! But to God, it’s almost like we’re completely transparent. When he looks at us, he is able to look through all the externals, directly into who we are . . . our thoughts, our motives, our desires . . . our hearts.
Of course, we’re certainly not to ignore our bodies. They are, after all, the temple where God’s Spirit lives (1 Corinthians 6:19). However, the challenge is to spend at least as much time working on who we are and not just what we look like.
Taking time each day to read God’s Word and listen to His voice is certainly a great start toward becoming a beautiful person inside. If you soaked in the wonder of your Bible today and spent time on your knees before the Throne, congratulations. You’re right on track.