The Kind of Beauty That Matters Most
PEOPLE feel drawn to those they consider to be attractive. But what really makes you attractive? After all, there are limits to what you can safely do to alter inherited characteristics. Furthermore, physical beauty is transitory, as no one today can escape the deteriorating effects of aging and sickness. Is there another kind of beauty that is more important, lasting, and attainable?
The Importance of Inner Beauty
The Bible assures us that the Creator, Jehovah God, places great value upon inner beauty. Consider some examples.
When Jehovah told the prophet Samuel to choose a king for Israel from among the sons of Jesse, the prophet was drawn to the handsome Eliab. “He has to be the one the Lord has chosen,” Samuel said. But Jehovah said to Samuel: “Don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.”—1 Samuel 16:6, 7, Contemporary English Version.
The one chosen to be king turned out to be the youngest son, David. While he was said to have “beautiful eyes” and to be “handsome in appearance,” David may not have been as impressive-looking as his more mature brothers. But “the spirit of Jehovah began to be operative upon David from that day forward.” Although he was imperfect and committed some grave errors, he distinguished himself as a person of good heart and as a faithful servant of God to the end of his life. (1 Samuel 16:12, 13) Without a doubt, he was attractive to God primarily for his inner beauty.
By way of contrast, consider Absalom, one of David’s sons. He turned out to be an undesirable man in spite of his enviable appearance. The Bible says of him: “Now compared with Absalom there proved to be no man so beautiful in all Israel as to be praised so much. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there proved to be no defect in him.” (2 Samuel 14:25) However, Absalom’s ambition impelled him to rebel against his own father and usurp the throne. He even violated his father’s concubines. As a result, Absalom incurred divine wrath and suffered a painful death.—2 Samuel 15:10-14; 16:13-22; 17:14; 18:9, 15.
Do you feel drawn to Absalom? Of course not. All in all, he was a repulsive individual. His outstanding physical beauty did not compensate for his arrogance and disloyalty, nor did it prevent his ruin. On the other hand, the Bible contains many examples of wise, appealing people about whom nothing is said of their physical appearance. Evidently, what mattered most was their inner beauty.
Inner Beauty Attracts
Can inner beauty attract others? Georgina, who has been married for nearly ten years, says: “Throughout the years, I have been drawn to my husband because of his honesty and sincerity toward me. The most important thing in his life is to please God. This has contributed to his being considerate and loving. He takes me into account in his decisions and makes me feel appreciated. I know that he really loves me.”
Daniel, who was married in 1987, says: “My wife is beautiful to me. Not only am I physically attracted to her but her personality makes me love her even more. She always thinks about other people and takes an interest in making them feel good. She has valuable Christian qualities. This has made it pleasant for me to be with her.”
In this superficial world, we need to see past the surface. We need to see that achieving the “ideal” look is difficult—if not impossible—and of very limited value. Yet, developing desirable qualities that contribute to true inner beauty is possible. The Bible says: “Charm may be false, and prettiness may be vain; but the woman that fears Jehovah is the one that procures praise for herself.” In contrast, the Scriptures warn: “As a gold nose ring in the snout of a pig, so is a woman that is pretty but that is turning away from sensibleness.”—Proverbs 11:22; 31:30.
God’s Word helps us to value “the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.” (1 Peter 3:4) Truly, such inner beauty is far more important than physical beauty. And it is within the reach of all.
[Pictures on page 8, 9]
Good qualities can do more to beautify you than any physical treatment can