The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
Planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
Proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no
wickedness in him. —Psalm 92:12-15 NIV
Pause for a moment, before you read the following lines. Think of the most beautiful person you know. Do you have someone in mind?
Now, continue to read. If you are like most people who really think about it, you realized that beauty is more than physical appearance. You probably thought of someone who is beautiful, not so much for what they look like, but for who they are—what they do—what they stand for.
Still, we wonder, “How much money is spent each year by men and women alike in an effort to spruce themselves up—to make themselves beautiful?” The figure would likely to be staggering. It would probably dwarf the amount spent by the Christian community each year to care for the needy or share the Good News. It appears that people, generally speaking, want to be beautiful! Sadly, however, it seems that many do not understand the nature of real beauty.
What is more beautiful than a young child happily singing a spiritual song learned from a godly Bible class teacher? What is more beautiful than a family sitting down together for a meal and to talk about their day? What is more beautiful than teenagers living godly lives, in spite of the fact that pressure from peers to do otherwise is incredible? What is more beautiful than a cup of cool water given in the name of Jesus? What is more beautiful than a hug around the neck or pat on the back, which is given to encourage a brother or sister in Christ? What is more beautiful than a family of Christians working together to serve those with special needs in their community? What is more beautiful than forgiveness extended, instead of carrying a grudge? What is more beautiful than the feet of those who bring good news?
You see, there is a type of beauty that cannot be seen in a vanity mirror or through a camera lens. There is beauty that transcends even the most picturesque mountain scene imaginable. There is a kind of beauty that will endure when all other beauty has faded. It is real beauty! This beauty is not painted on the surface. Instead, it is the beauty of a life being lived in harmony with the will of God. It is the beautiful fruit of righteousness, which is produced by those who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. It is beauty from within!
© Bill Williams