Obsessed with Youth and Beauty

I recently took a trip down the cosmetics aisle at my local drug store. Planning to run in and out with my usual supplies, a sales representative foiled my plan by belabouring the latest trends in the makeup world.    

She was enthusiastic until she learned my age.  With a disapproving look, she began scolding me for not using the proper face wash, day cream, night cream, eye cream, or exfoliator, to name a few.

Red-faced I made my purchases and slunk out of the store. At home I scoured my face for fine lines and looked critically at my appearance. Maybe I needed those anti-aging products after all. What will others think of me if I develop wrinkles? Then I became angry about the obsession our society has placed on staying young and, therefore, beautiful. Beauty ads surround us and glamorize “must have” products and faces.  Then I stopped and remembered what truly makes someone beautiful and what should be valued at any age: character.

Someone who represents beauty in the Bible is Abigail. She is an example of the discernment and wisdom created when character is cultivated. In 1 Samuel 25, Abigail’s husband Nabal refuses to pay King David and his men for their work at tending his sheep. Deciding to intercede, Abigail meets an enraged King David on his way to kill Nabal.

Abigail recognized David’s intentions and sought to find a resolution. Nowhere in the passage does it mention her physical appearance or age.  Rather, in the message, “The Discernment of Abigail,” Chuck Swindoll says of Abigail, “Flowing through her mind and her emotions is a beautiful blend of discernment and wisdom.”

Three things we can strive to model from Abigail’s life:

  • She loved the Lord and followed His commands (1 Samuel 25:32)
  • God gave her discernment and wisdom (25:33)
  • She was humble (25:24)

In a world obsessed with youth and physical appearance, examples like Abigail remind me how living for God creates character with remarkable, unmatched beauty.