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True Beauty Is in the Eyelid of the Beholder

Right there on the AOL news this morning was a headline flashing for all to see: “How did Jessica, Denise and Others Get So Slim and Fit? See Their Secrets.”

Yeah, that story ranked right up there with “Katrina Leaves Dozens Dead.”

Ya think?

Was it just me or have you also noticed that just maybe we have our priorities screwed up?

Right there on the AOL news this morning was a headline flashing for all to see: “How did Jessica, Denise and Others Get So Slim and Fit? See Their Secrets.”

Yeah, that story ranked right up there with “Katrina Leaves Dozens Dead.”

Ya think?

Was it just me or have you also noticed that just maybe we have our priorities screwed up?

Want more evidence? Americans spend more than $8 billion annually on cosmetic surgery. But it’s not just this side of the Atlantic where we're forking over cash. The Scotsman reports that four in ten teenage girls in the UK consider plastic surgery.

And how about this? His-and-hers and mother-daughter treatments are the latest plastic-surgery trends. And people are giving such “treatments” as gifts. (What do you write on the card? “You have too many wrinkles, so here’s help!”?) The average cost of a nose job is about $4,000; the average cost of “fixing” the upper and lower eyelids is also about $4,000. Hmm, let’s see—support a pastor in the developing world for three years or lose the crow’s feet. That is such a tough moral choice….

Recently I was talking with Dr. Dorian Coover-Cox, who teaches Hebrew at Dallas Seminary and who in the past also taught Koine Greek. Dorian had spoken with a friend who told her how women who live in a certain Dallas zip code (Big D’s equivalent to 90210) simply cannot live there without having face lifts. It’s considered downright shameful in the Neighborhood of the Beautiful to have bodily “imperfections,” and money is no object when it comes to fixing up one’s externals. Dorian pondered aloud whether the makeover-fever mentality was the sort of thinking the apostle Peter had in mind when he wrote this:

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 (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Peter told women within their own cultural construct that, although tempted to tuck and preen, a Christ-follower must embody (literally) a different standard.

Could it be that the presence of crow's feet indicates maturity on more than one level?

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