The Bible and Beauty

Key verse: ‘The precepts of the Lord are right . . . by them is your servant warned’ (Psalm 19:8,11, ESV)

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We may be convinced that what God values above everything else is beauty of character and Christ-like behaviouryet still have a notion that to be physically attractive would be a bonus. There must be advantages in having good looks! 

When we consider verses in the Bible which specifically mention beauty it is significant that they all present a negative aspect, highlighting the dangers of being beautiful. It seems that there is no part of the spiritual life that is helped by physical attractiveness. Instead there are snares! 

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is passing, but a woman [or man] who fears the LORD is to be praised" (Proverbs 31:30, NIV).  Physical beauty does not last; it fades with age. In fact, your body may begin to show signs of getting old as early as age 20. If your focus is on looking good and your satisfaction with life depends on it, you will be unhappy when the wrinkles appear and the hair starts to change colour or disappear! But wait: someone who loves the Lord more than anything else is beautiful in the eyes of God. 

"Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty" (Ezekiel 28:17). "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" – you are, of course! We can become proud of how we look and even pity those who are not so well favoured. Pride began with the devil himself and God hates it. Good looking people need to be extra careful that they do not fall into this trap. 

"Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelid" (Proverbs 6:25).  Although in context this verse concerns a brazenly immoral woman, we can learn a timeless principle from it. The appeal of an attractive woman (or man) can be incredibly powerful. Strong feelings can be aroused. Don’t respond to physical attraction and be led into sin. Never deliberately use your beauty to entice someone to sin. 

The evidence seems to show that to be no more than average in the beauty stakes is actually a blessing for a Christian. We should embrace that, rejoice in what God has made us, and be content.