UGLY or PRETTY?

       “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” In a society & world that practically worships youth & beauty, the above title is a serious issue for most folks. And while it is true that some “ugly” folks are “pretty” inside; some “pretty” folks are “ugly” inside, the greater issue is whether life is fair. . . It appears that beauty gives both genders an advantage in all fields, while the normal or ugly can have an uphill battle. Business, teaching, politics, ministry, medical, legal, service – all of them, seem to favor the “pretty”. Scripture says “Man looks on the outward appearance. . .” Samuel 16:7
      For a professional note on the advantages of good looks on success, researchers Hamermesh & Biddle at the Univ. of Texas did a study which revealed as much as 10 percent better salary in any profession they looked at. Now if you are ugly, it’s apparently a disadvantage even in court. Sociology researchers Downs & Lyons showed from fifteen hundred defendants that Texas judges impose sterner sentences on unattractive felons. (info from “SHAM” 2005 S. Salerno) This world may show favoritism (or censure) but I am comforted knowing that God “sees” us differently. The rest of the above scripture says, “but the Lord looks on the heart.” He may even show the “underdog” favoritism – see link 26.
      An age old question is whether J.C. was “ugly or pretty.” The best answer is Isaiah 53:2 which was written 800 years before Christ appeared before the public. “. . . He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him . . .” And John Baptist of Christ’s time was described as out of style. “John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts & wild honey.” Mt 3:4 If God had any kind of Hollywood sense, both of those characters would have been “pretty”. But God doesn’t run on the theatre & political code – IMAGE is PRESTIGE is CREDIBILITY.
       As regarding preaching, I once heard a Methodist clergyman say “people won’t remember what you say, they won’t remember what you do, but they will remember how you make them feel.” Well I strike out on that score being probably in the “ugly” or at best normal category. I believe GOSPELNOTES can be a ministry tool for me – I let the Holy Spirit make the impression. Forty years ago Chaplain B of link 70 expressed his disdain for the tract ministry. It wasn’t his style to “drop them & run.” Well, it’s not my style either – I place them & walk away . . . And the internet connection creates a mission field practically from space.
      So what is the point? Those who are “pretty” should be thankful & consider their beauty as a gift from above. For those who are lacking in “pretty” (myself included), all is not lost – God’s blessing & presence can level the playing field. (And if He helps us find our NICHE we are really in position to win . . .) We should “play the hand that is dealt us,” AND not fall into the “mad at God” syndrome if we happen to be less than beautiful. Then we could ask, “Does God make mistakes?” I prefer to think Father God is a gentleman, scholar, & HEALER, and doesn’t make mistakes, but NOW, Mother Nature does – she even flies on a broom at times . . . I believe if we cultivate our faith & salvation in Christ, we can rise above all kinds of worldly problems including “ugly or pretty.” It is true that God “sees” his redeemed people as “pretty” & blesses them whether they are fair to look upon or not. “Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly lovely . . . You are all fair, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 1:16 & 4:7 Choose Jesus, He is alive. And be blessed in spite of the World’s value systems. See “The World” link 27.

For other Gospel-notes go to:  www.gospelnotes.net                        *  *  *  *  Fred J. Stone  *  *  *  *