Cosmetics applied tastefully, can often make one look better and even feel better. One study found that women spend fifty four minutes a day in front of the mirror applying makeup and doing their hair and another twenty six minutes figuring out what clothes to wear. (1)Traditionally, males have spent far less time in front of the mirror – or at least will only confess to spending minimal mirror time. However that is quickly changing as males and females alike become more fixated on appearance and perceived attractiveness and beauty.
The cosmetic industry is huge. Recent statistics peg annual cosmetic sales globally at $170billion. You would only have to add six years of cosmetic sales together to top $1trillion. Annually it looks like this: Americas – $40B; Europe – $60B; Asia and Australia – $60B and Africa – $10B. (2)
But is looking better and feeling better all that counts? Have you ever wondered if we are living in a very superficial ‘showy’ culture – where people mask their inner reality with external make-up, make-overs and cover-ups? We do our daily time in front of the mirror – basic mirrors and magnifying mirrors and off we go for the day or for the evening. And if we really want to impress a special person, the mirror time for cosmetic attention exponentially climbs.
Looking better and feeling better can be very deceiving. One can look better but actually be worse. One can feel better based on their perceptions; but perceptions can be bitterly deceiving.
Spiritually – often the focus is on the external. If we can make ourselves look or seem better by –
- eliminating some bad habits,
- committing ourselves to positive changes
- increasing our good works and charitable giving, and
- performing more selfless acts to help others,
– we not only look better in the eyes of others but we feel better ourselves. We feel like we are becoming a much better person. If we couple all those actions with a commitment to some spiritual belief system and sincerely follow the path – then we are more optimistic about our future. We feel better and we have greater confidence.
Yes – spiritual and social cosmetics! But here’s the problem: we can beautify the outward but it does not deal with the core issue of our heart. We can modify and improve our behaviour but it does not change who we are inside. We can impress people with the nice side of who we are – but does it alter the reality of how God sees us?
If lumps and bumps were appearing on your body at an alarming rate, would you settle for a medical opinion that told you to simply wear bulkier clothes to tastefully cover-up the ugly growths? Wisely, you would seek quick medical intervention to resolve the problem below the surface – deep inside you. Spiritually, do not settle for surface treatment.
In God’s Word there’s an occasion when a prophet is selecting a new king for Israel. The prophet looked at one man and figured he looked like he’d make a good king. But the Lord spoke to the prophet and said:
Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him;for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
On one occasion Jesus spoke to some of the most religious people of their day. They looked super good outwardly but inwardly they were sinners to the core. He illustrated His point by using a drinking cup analogy. He clearly told them they were focused on shining the outside of the cup, while the contents inside were most alarming. (Matthew 23:25-26)
God has a mirror and if you would like to see yourself as God sees you, you need to look in His mirror. (James 1:22-25) God’s mirror is the Bible. One of the best known descriptions of how God sees the human heart is detailed in Romans Chapter 3. It is often a shocking revelation to people. Some slam the book shut and don’t want to face the reality. Others are open to the truth and look for the remedy to their deepest spiritual need – as God has defined it.
Are you willing to face the reality by looking into God’s mirror today? Would you read Romans Chapter 3? Yes, there will be some things there you may not understand – but you will understand enough to know that the Holy God absolutely cannot accept us the way we are. We are, by birth, structurally crippled by sin. Cosmetics with God will never pass the test.
Here’s the great news about Romans Chapter 3: in the very same chapter where you learn the alarming news about your sin, you will also learn of God’s singular remedy for our sinful condition. Jesus Christ shed His innocent blood and died taking God’s punishment for our sin upon Himself. Through His blood you can have the full forgiveness of all your sins – yes all!
Your personal, point-in-time faith in Jesus Christ, as your Saviour, is required by God for you to be accepted in His Presence and to qualify for Heaven.
Are you willing to look at your core need within? You will be filled with relief and joy the moment you personally accept God’s remedy for your sin – Jesus Christ Himself. Will you face your sin today and embrace Christ as your Saviour?
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