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Incorruptible Beauty

Incorruptible Beauty

Every 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.

Take 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.

However, 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).

In God’s 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).

So what 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

1.      What image of ideal beauty do I want to conform to – that of the world or that of Christ?

2.      What changes do I need to make to put on the image of Christ and be perfected spiritually?



Author: Marian Shek