Monday, July 28, 2014
GENTLEMEN: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
As I was reading in Psalm 38 & 39, I found myself wandering onto a strange road, and asking myself, “What do men think that God sees in them?”
David is pretty punked out. He is the King, and yet he sees himself as a great offender of God. He has sinned and he is suffering the consequences. He needs to talk to someone, but who? He is the King after all; to whom can he trust his personal thoughts? So he keeps quiet. He holds his thoughts close. But, eventually he realizes that he will break apart, spiritually as well as physically, if he does not talk to someone. So he finally opens up to God; spilling out the truths of what is bothering him.
While speaking about the sins in his life, he asks God to not bring down the punishment these sins deserve; but to give him Grace and to allow him to move among men again, showing that Grace to the people, once more before he dies. It is a prayer of contrition and submission to the righteous judgement of God. It is what God needed to hear.
I could speak all day about the implications of this in our lives, but what it really brought to my mind was all the verses in the Bible that declare a man blessed.
David was a man “after God's own heart” and there was a reason for that: In all his troubles and successes, he never once thought of giving up on his God, the God of his Fathers and his personal guide and Lord.
One impression which may be just my own interpretation, but bothers me, is that men have very little to hang there hats on when it comes to “How does God see me?” I know that there are verses and I know that there are lessons taught that intend to give men a good perception of themselves, but I feel that sometimes the only people that guys have to measure against is heroes in the Bible and leaders in the church. I am sure that many have the feeling that when God looks at them, they don't look good at all.
As a woman, I have dealt with the issue of beauty over and over again. Women do that. And women go out of their way to help each other see the beauty in themselves because of Jesus Christ in their lives. There are all kinds of Bible studies on this subject and there are unending conversations going on in support of each other about this subject.
But what about men. Do men ever think of themselves as beautiful? Do men have any realization of being beautiful in God's sight. Would a man even consider thinking of himself that way? Men are supposed to be handsome, not beautiful.
I searched the word “handsome” in the Bible and I came up almost dry. The Revised Standard Version uses the word in Psalm 45:2, but other versions more commonly used, such a King James and NIV, do not use that word.
One verse – Song of Songs, verse 1:16 – is consistently translated handsome, but it is speaking of how a woman sees a man, not how God sees that man.
In my mind, I thought Saul was called handsome; it is not coming up; though he was definitely described in ways that add up to handsome. But it really doesn't matter, because most men do not consider themselves handsome anyway... most men.
Women are taught that they are no longer caterpillars, but are now butterflys – if they have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord. Doesn't that apply to men as well? Doesn't it?
How many times does the phrase, “Blessed is the man who...” come up in scripture? More than I can count, that's for sure. But these verses come with a catch: being blessed requires living blessed. And everyone of these verses declares a life style of seeking God. This is not that we must live correctly if God is to see us as beautiful; it is about us being beautiful in Jesus Christ, and then showing our beauty and growing in our beauty by making God our focus as we live out our lives.
(Note: If we find salvation and then sit on our backsides watching the world go by, or refuse to listen to and learn from God – we will not be blessed or beautiful in our lives.)
So God sees us as butterflys because of the shed blood of Christ and the veil of Christ's blood between Him and us. We have been given a new existence, a new us. He sees us as beautiful when He looks at us. And he sees it now, not waiting for the day we arrive in Heaven, changed into our heavenly bodies. He sees us that way right now.
So how can manly men come around and begin to see themselves as beautiful, even though they may not think they are handsome in their own eyes? I'm thinking that they can make a point of remembering the verses that declare them blessed and substitute beautiful:
“Beautiful” is the man who... And that is not beyond probability. After all, the blessed men of Matthew are in a list called the “Beaut-itudes.” Okay... there is no “u”; but close, right? These verses, and others that use blessed, are telling us that the man who follows after Christ with his whole heart is a beautiful man. That man is a butterfly and that man will be seen as a butterfly by God for the rest of his life, here and in Heaven.
If you want to get the “feeling” of what I am saying, consider reading Psalm 119; substituting the word beautiful for blessed. David is telling us why he is blessed (beautiful) and how you can be too. Basically, if you seek after God with your whole heart, mind and soul you will be beautiful; to others around you, as well as to God. And don't forget my favorite, Psalm 1:1.
So what is the basic requirement for achieving beauty; Knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and aiming, every day, to keep his presence alive in your lives. Beautiful is the man who...
Gentlemen, allow yourselves to be beautiful. Seek after God throughout everyday; pray to live in the power and beauty of the Fruit of the Spirit; and enjoy being beautiful.
May we all, men and women, seek to be beautiful in God's eyes, and not worry so much how we rate among others. May we strive to be beautiful God's way, rather than man's way. And may we keep watch over the one whom we know really matters in our day. Amen
Consider this view:
Matthew West Hello, My Name Is