A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" Just Look at Me! "
(True Beauty)
    "Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due His name; bow down before Jehovah in the BEAUTY OF HOLINESS... O bow down before Jehovah in the BEAUTY OF HOLINESS! Tremble before Him, all the earth." (Ps29:2, 96:9)

    "He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. Jehovah takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy." (Ps147:10-11)

    "Do not let your adornment be outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on apparel; rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1Pt3:3-4)

This year opened with yet another in the ongoing litany of "reality" shows on TV prime time. This one is called "True Beauty". Being a people watcher and student of human nature, I watched the first episode. As this is being written, I can't say I will watch any more; the first episode was likely -quite- 'enough'. But it provides us some fodder to chew on a moment, and ruminate.

I had seen the promos, so was interested to see what they would do with it. The premise is that they have 10 people (5 male, 5 female) competing for a monetary prize. The winner is determined as less-qualified individuals are progressively 'evicted' from the process. All 10 are people the world would consider to be visually "beautiful" people. They have pretty faces, well-proportioned physiques; they primp and dress themselves with cosmetics and fashions that are considered flattering and in good worldly cultural taste.

However, unlike a beauty pageant, this competition, unbeknownst to the contestants, also provides scenarios to test their -inner- beauty. Do they have a pretty face...but moreso, do they have a pretty heart?

Of course, as the 10 are introduced one-by-one, they pretty much all came parading before the camera with 'attitude' of one sort or another, according to the personality of each person. The one female, in particular, was -more- 'made-up' than the rest. -Heavy- application and sculpting of lipstick and eye colorations, with clothes and attitude to match. She considered herself to be the absolute 'best' of the bunch, and openly to the camera pretty much disdained the rest. Pretty, sprightly, sexy, dressed and made-up; and as she strikes a pose, "I mean... just LOOK AT ME!"

The organizers created various 'incidents' by which to test the 10, without them knowing they are being tested; catch them off-guard and unprepared. At one point, as they are sitting around toasting each other's good fortune at being on such a show, this hired actor comes bumbling along, trips and spills stuff ALL OVER them all, soiling their clothes and shoes. The one girl dipped one of her sandles in the glass of champagne to clean it, after nearly screaming: "it got all over my shoes!" How many were -concerned- for the welfare of the (actor) "waiter" who had 'fallen'?

In another case each person was sitting alone, waiting for an appointment, and on the table next to them were folders with the names of the other contestants. Not knowing a camera was watching, would they take a "peek" in others' folders? Some did, some didn't.

But the main scenario for the first episode was that each contestant was 'measured' for "beauty points". A professional plastic surgeon took measurments, put marks on their faces and bodies, as though analyzing them against recognized industry beauty standards, as he might do were he going to recommend any "work" to be done. The evenness of both eyes, the shape of the nose, proportion of the ears, torso proportions as to measurments and musculature. Each aspect measured and analyzed is given a beauty 'value', and each contestant was assigned their resultant beauty "score"; based solely on what God gave them at birth, genetics, and how they devloped and took care of it through nutrition, exercise, and whatever goes into making people look as they do. The two with the lowest scores then were on 'trial' against each other to determine who was to be evicted.

The last test was to have another hired actor, pretending to be a delivery person, loaded down with drinks (sodas or whatever), struggling to open a door, that the contestants were also coming along to enter. Would the contestant open and 'hold' the door for the delivery person? The person who was evicted opened the door, walk through, and left the delivery guy standing outside, still 'struggling' with the drinks.

But here's the point of all this rambling. Remember Ms Look-at-me? When the plastic surgeon got done, she was one of the 'two' to be analyzed for eviction, because her score was one of the two 'lowest' scores. As they revealed that, and broke to commercial, I busted out laughing, and walked around and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Ms Look-at-me; oooo! I'm so much better than everybody else; when measured against professional physical evidence, did not measure up...even though her self-proclaimed rhetoric suggested otherwise.

The 'other' girl was evicted: she looked at the file folders, and walked through the door leaving the guy standing. But Ms Look-at-me, even though she passed those tests, was advised by the judges, as she was heading back to rejoin the rest of the contestants, that she might want to consider a bit of a "make-down". (As compared to make-up...)

So... why would we concern ourselves with anything so 'shallow' as this that the world thinks is so important? After all, isn't it the 'important' people who walk the Red Carpet, strutting, primping and posing their stuff before the cameras and adoring fans, who want to know 'who' designed the fashion that person was wearing? ...or that was 'draped' on her, barely covering places that needed covering?

Did you notice the Scripture passages by which we opened this discussion? One thing the world hopes nobody is paying attention to is the fact that...

    "...the form of this world is passing away." (1Co7:31b)

    "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (Ja4:14b)

What is beauty? Is it "smooth skin", or the beauty of the "hidden person of the heart"? I somehow doubt that this particular TV show is going to show any 'real' -inner- beauty. Holding a door for somebody -should- be a 'basic' goodness and consideration any person should have for another. To my mind the one who lost the first episode was -below- "loser", not even possessed of 'basic' social graces. If the show's "winner" ends up opening all doors, picking up all who have fallen, gone around to clean everybody's boo-boos...will they still have found a person with -true- beauty? They are still trapped in the world's standards of unholiness. I didn't see a single one of those 10 that witnessed "Christian" to my heart. How many of them are holy before God? How many of them are possessed of a "meek and quiet spirit"? They -all- came out 'strutting' their stuff; the -opposite- of "meek and quiet".

True Beauty...that which lasts...is holiness before the Almighty. What is holiness? Is it that symbol of Babylonish sun-worship, the halo? He is soooo hooooly! ....the 'emotion' of it all! Swoon! Sigh!

Holiness is very much like that plastic surgeon, taking hard-n-fast measurements. By definition "holy" means to cut apart, make a distinction, to separate. To clean the filth away in order to leave the clean. When a person weeds in a garden, they are making the garden 'holy' from the weeds. When a person cleans house, they are making it 'holy' from the dirt and dust. By definition. And is not a weed-free garden a thing of 'beauty'? People consider smooth skin, free of blemishes, to be beautiful.

Is not the repentant soul, who has received the Salvation provided by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Rev1:5), who now stands before God pronounced "Righteous", free of sin, a thing of Holy Beauty?

    "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Lk15:10)
In God's eyes filth is sin. It is disobedience to His just and righteous laws and character. If a person claims to love God, but indulges in sin, he is not "beautiful" before God, because he is not holy. Generic potential Righteousness is marred by sin. If a person gets dressed up, pastes on a big smile, greets everybody with well-wishes, and sings the worship songs rowdily...are they a "beautiful" person in God's eyes? Not if he is also defiling his "neighbor's wife", stealing from business partners, and in his heart lusts after the world's ways. He is not "holy". He makes a "claim" for God, but lives like the world. (Ezk22:8-12,etc)

Some of the male contestants had 'buffed' bodies. Muscles and washboard abs. In OT times they would look at a warrior's ability to -run- long and hard, thus his 'legs'. But God "takes no pleasure" in those things. But what? Those who "fear Him" and "hope in His mercy".

    "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." (1Ti4:8)
Man cannot save himself. We cannot 'work' to bootstrap ourselves out of the muck and mire of sin. Only -God- can pull us up "out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay" (Ps40:2) God takes pleasure in those who -let- God do what He offers to do.

As women are today, they were in times past... enhancing their beauty with hair dews, makeup, jewelry, fashions. But Peter exhorts Godly women to not let all those things be what defines you, as did Ms. Look-at-me. But the "hidden person of the heart". That part that nobody else sees. That is where God discerns between "soul and spirit" looking at the "thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb4:12) That is the beauty God desires from women. And if it is -in- the heart, then the behavior will mirror that. As Jesus said,

    "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mt12:34)

    "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual perversions, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." (Mt15:19)

But if a person wants to -be- good, as the world speaks of 'nice' people,
    "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; THINK ON THESE THINGS." (Php4:8)
Nothing about 'ripped' abs, girlish figure, makeup, fashions. There is a saying, "You are what you eat" Another is related, "You are what you think" Something the Bible also says...
    "As [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he" (Pr23:7)
Truth, nobleness, justice, purity, loveliness, goodness, virtue, praise. These are the Godly characteristics.
    "O man, He has declared to you what is good. And what does Jehovah require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Mic6:8)
Humility was not evident in the "True Beauty" episode. Nor any of the other Godly virtues.

Thing is, a good many people of the world like to primp and strut before God's "TV camera", expressing just how great they think they are. But like God presented before Belshazzar...

    "You are weighed in the balances and found deficient..." (Dan5:27)

    "And you...O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart" (Dan5:22)

And when the sinner, who spends his time scoffing at God, comes up lacking of God's Holiness, after being 'measured and weighed'...
    "He who sits in the Heavens shall laugh; Jehovah shall have them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His wrath." (Ps2:4-5)
But the Godly heart is of the sort...
    "Yet, I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion." (vs6)
Amen!
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