Question from a Reader:
“I had never really thought of myself as vain. As I get older my outward appearance is starting to bug me, but when it does, I have doubts about vanity. When you do things to improve your appearance for yourself is it a sin?
Gyms take a lot of effort on our part to Lypo without surgery. Teeth Whiting and Life Style Lift has been front and center on TV lately. Both have caught my interest. I decided to do both and now it crossed my mind that it might not be OK with our Heavenly Father.”
The first thing that came to my mind when I read the question was the difference between the flesh and the spirit. As I pondered, I thought of the inner and the outer man the way Paul describes them in Romans, chapter 7. He said there was “no good thing” in his fleshly man. His flesh warred against his mind to make him do the things he would not.
We understand that the world is involved in many temporary hopes that soon vanish away (Psa. 90:10). It is understandable that man would be involved in temporary things for he is not on earth very long (James 4:14). God’s work involves eternal things for He always lives to accomplish his work in our hearts (Isa. 57:15).
God’s work concerns man’s eternal nature (2 Cor. 4:16-18). He sees there is something in man’s inner nature that can be strengthened (Eph. 3:16). We can be strong in His eternal works – OR – we can be strong in the temporary works of the world. Which do we truly desire? Does He not know where our hearts are set? (Matt. 6:21).
Mary desired strength in the inner man, and Jesus promised it would not be taken from her (Luke 10:38-42). These vanities (useless things) of the world are not needful, but are truly empty of eternal good. The Lord is pleased with us when we determine to seek the eternal things of His kingdom.
Another thought I had ran along the lines of praise of men. We are told that if we seek the praise of men we will not have God’s praise (John 12:42-43). Why did the chief rulers not believe on Jesus? They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Is our desire to tuck, adjust, nip and deck the body part of loving the praise of men? If it is, we will be condemned by God (Luke 16:15; John 5:44).