day, we are bombarded with images of perfection. There is always an
unattainable ideal for us to pursue – be it the perfect body, the perfect look,
or the perfect life.
beauty, for example – the paradigm of what is deemed “beautiful” changes with
each generation. Still, people push their bodies to the limit – through
dangerous diets and obsessive exercise regimes – to achieve what society,
fleetingly, calls “perfection”. In this visual society of ours, the appearance
of the image alone is what matters.
God does not look at physical perfection or beauty. “Do not let your adornment
be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the
incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in
the sight of God” (1 Pet 3:3-4).
eyes, true beauty lies in the “hidden person of the heart” – something that
cannot be readily seen by human eyes. And while outer beauty fades, this inner
beauty is “incorruptible”. To pursue this spiritual ideal is to focus on
perfecting something which is everlasting and cannot be destroyed; for our
inner person will be renewed day by day, even as we grow older and our looks
fade (2 Cor 4:16).
is spiritual perfection? This is to have the same spirit as Christ Jesus, who
said, “I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Mt 11:29b). His humility was shown when
He came in the flesh as a lowly servant, submitting fully to the will of the
Father. His love for humankind compelled Him to heal the sick, have compassion
on the poor, and sacrifice Himself on the cross for our sins. To become more
like Jesus is to become more spiritually perfect.
So do we
reflect the image of Christ in our daily lives? And do we exhibit His
characteristics of love, humility, gentleness and patience? If we pursue to
become more Christ-like, then we are on our way to true beauty and perfection.
Questions for Reflection
image of ideal beauty do I want to conform to – that of the world or that of
changes do I need to make to put on the image of Christ and be perfected