Is physical beauty a curse or a blessing according to the Bible?

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God created beauty and when He ended from His creative work, He “saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31; Song of songs 4:7). Beauty is a gift from God (Matthew 6:28,29). But like all gifts it comes with responsibility. We are to use our gifts for God’s glory not ours (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The Bible gives us the example of Queen Esther who was a very beautiful woman that used her beauty to honor God. Esther not only possessed outer beauty but inner beauty that was reflected in her love to God and submission to His will. Esther risked her own life in order to save her people (Esther 4:16) from destruction. Her life testified to the fact that her beauty was not a curse but a blessing. Unlike Esther was Satan who used his own beauty for self-glorification. God said about him, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17).

People should not place great emphasis on physical looks for God doesn’t look at a person’s outer appearance but rather upon the inner loveliness of the heart. When choosing a king for Israel, God instructed Samuel the prophet: “Do not consider his appearance or his height…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). While people may favor the beautiful outwardly, God shows no such favoritism (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11). Every true Christian is beautiful in God’s eyes.

The apostle Peter taught that a Christian should seek the cultivation of spiritual virtues in order to be truly beautiful: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful” (1 Peter 3:3-5 also 1 Timothy 2:9,10).

Christian love and peacefulness outshines any surface attractiveness (Galatians 5:22-23). The simplicity of a Christian will stand in sharp contrast with the self-assertiveness of those who seek to attract attention to themselves by their outer appearance. As Christians we are to desire the lasting beauty for “outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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