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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beautiful and Deadly

Photo by: Melody Stephens

The Rose of the Desert has some of the most beautiful orchid-lily-like flowers, yet its sap is deadly poison. It's especially fatal to children and pets. If an adult accidentally gets any sap on his hands, he must wash his hands immediately.

Beautiful and deadly.

The Bible talks about beautiful women who aren’t so nice.

I think this verse describes a funny image: As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion (Proverbs 11:22). No one would waste a piece of gold jewelry on a pig! (Remember, this was a Jewish audience, who believed pigs were “unclean” animals.) As inappropriate as a beautiful jewel in a pig’s nose, so is a gorgeous woman without discretion. Discretion is behaving in such a way as not to offend, circumspect. The woman without discretion would be confrontational and offensive.

Samson’s girlfriend Delilah must have been a knockout, but we all know the story of her conniving, wheedling, whining ways. She was one of those deadly poisonous women. (Judges 16)

The deadly women that most come to mind are the ones that Solomon didn’t like. They are, what I would term “typical.” There are lessons here for everyone.

  • A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing (9:13). Clamorous means “loud.”
  • The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping (19:13b). (Drip, drip, drip. Water torture?)
  • It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman (21:9, 19). 
  • It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house (25:24). 
  • A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike (27:15). (More water torture here!)
The flipside of the deadly-sap woman is the beautiful-hearted woman:
  • Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).
  • A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband (Proverbs 12:4). 
  • Every wise woman buildeth her house (Proverbs 14:1).   

Especially today, women put a lot of emphasis on their looks. We spend a lot of time tweezing, bleaching, shaving, moisturizing, doing our make-up and hair, and painting our nails. We want to look as nice as we can. We shop for clothes that make us look thinner than we are and for pretty shoes, scarves, and jewelry. We try to make the most of what we have. We work on looking beautiful. (By the way, we succeed when we try. A friend of mine quotes her mother, “There’s no such thing as an ugly woman, only a woman who doesn’t take care of herself.” When we try, we succeed!)

Yet, we’ve all seen well-turned-out women screaming, whining, manipulating, and even hitting others.

God looks on the inside of a person, on his heart. He sees what’s actually there. It’s interesting that, in giving instructions to Christian women about how they’re to dress, the Bible says what matters to God is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. God says those qualities of the hidden man of the heart are of great price. (1 Peter 3:4)

Does your inside match your beautiful outside?

Consider using these “beauty tips” for your heart:

  1. Wash your heart in the blood of Jesus Christ. And from Jesus Christ . . . . Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (from Revelation 1:5).
  2. Cleanse your heart daily in God’s forgiveness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
  3. Pray to God in faith. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).
  4. Get into the Bible. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16a)
  5. Make a special place for God in your heart, and be ready to witness to others about your faith. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).
  6. Rejoice that God has shown us His love and given us the Holy Spirit. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:5).
  7. Call God “Daddy.” Christians have that kind of closeness with God. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6).
  8. Get peace through prayer. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
  9. Sing in your heart. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).

Let’s be beautiful inside! It will show on the outside.

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