Eye candy or soul food
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart. – Luke 6:45
1 Peter 3:3-4
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.
4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
Eye candy refers to a person or thing that is nice to look at but has very little substance, meaning, or purpose. Eye candy connotes being attractive, pleasing to the eyes, but often superficial without inner quality.
Studies suggest that individuals who are considered good-looking by societal standards have many advantages in life. Alas, that’s just the way it is in our depraved and fallen world. “At all ages and in all walks of life, attractive people are judged more favorably, treated better, and cut more slack . . .. Teachers favor more attractive students and judge them as smarter. Attractive adults get paid more for their work . . .. And juries are less likely to find attractive people guilty and recommend lighter punishments when they do” (Eric Wargo).
People innately recognize this earthbound reality and seek to be as attractive as they can. However, “In the end, makeup can make a difference in perceived physical attractiveness, but that only takes one so far: Despite the advantage that physical beauty may have for short-term relationships, people seeking long-term connection do prioritize “inner beauty” over exterior appearance – emphasizing, for example, kindness, intelligence, and a good sense of humor” (Psychology Today).
Often modern psychology through trial and error “discovers” excellent principles for living. Many of these principles were revealed in the Scriptures over two thousand years ago.
1 Samuel 16:7 The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Outward appearance is not a predictor of how someone will live over time. Actions flow from the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Beauty is more than skin deep. Children of the King are to make a conscious choice not to be eye candy alone, they are to choose to be soul food. Being physically attractive should not be an end in itself. Instead, we should seek the inner beauty of the soul. We are to be not only beautiful on the outside, but be beautiful on the inside as well. True beauty comes from the heart. When you’re beautiful on the inside, it will reflect on the outside. Good hearts exude kindness, compassion, sympathy, loyalty, truthfulness, joy, tenderness, meekness, and poise (Eddah Barno).
Eye candy will only get you so far in life. When you don’t have a heart for others, it will begin to show. Everyone can be soul food, but it’s your choice. Work on having a better heart each day. Soon enough you will be desirable soul food.
What would happen in our spiritual lives if we spent as much time working on our souls as we do on our bodies? Our bodies are important, but they will die; our spirits, however, will live forever (Stanley). Will and in
Father thank You for the opportunity to become truly beautiful on the inside. Enable me to become strong in kindness, goodness, and graciousness, and gentleness. May I exude the sweet-smelling aroma of Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christian faith was born into a fallen world of luxury and decadence. “Confronted by all this, Peter pleads for the graces which adorn the heart, which are precious in the sight of God. These were the jewels which adorned the holy women of the past” (Barclay). “Peter contrasts the outward and the inward aspects of beauty, the beauty dependent on outward aids and that which is dependent on the true inner self” (UBS).
1 Peter 3:3-4
3 Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes –
4 but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.
Peter’s appeal is directed to women; however, the principles apply to all children of the King. Peter targets externals such as elaborate hairdos, outer clothing, and expensive jewelry. He urges each of us to focus on the inner (hidden) beauty of the heart. What matters to the Father is a godly character, exhibited through a gentle and quiet spirit.
Peter is very balanced in his approach. “It is clear that Peter is not literally prohibiting all braiding of hair or all wearing of gold jewelry, because if this were the case the same prohibition would apply also to wearing clothing! Instead, Peter warns against both an inordinate preoccupation with personal appearance and material excess in such matters” (ESV notes). Our appearance should not be ostentatious or seductive, rather it should be discrete and unassuming.
What does the Father prefer for children of the King? What kind of beauty does the Father find most valuable? He wants our beauty to be a manifestation of our inner self, our souls, and our spirits. In the original Greek, it is literally “the hidden person of the heart.” It could well be translated as “the hidden person, which is the heart” (UBS).
The word heart refers to the whole person, the inner personality. Peter describes such beauty as ageless, literally imperishable; it never fades (UBS). Unlike superficial beauty which diminishes with age and outward adornments which are short-lived, inner beauty “never changes because it comes from a gentle and quiet spirit” (UBS).
Paul has a similar admonition for women which again generalizes to all children of the King.
1 Timothy 2:9 I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.
We should stress the quality of our hearts and downplay outer adornment.
Children of the King should be remarkable for the Christlike behavior that emanates from our inner self. Beautiful spirits are soul food for others to partake of. They are what the Father sees as being real beauty. The Father values and desires Christlikeness for every child of the King.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16
14 Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.
15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.
16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
Eye candy or soul food? The choice is yours.