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On the same day I learned that a company called OMG offers “sexy and spiritual Tees for Jesus” promoted on an overtly sexual website by flirty teens, I also discovered that a college student started the Live31 movement based on his tweet: “I’d rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret model.”
Sophie Tucker, a singer and actress in the early 1900’s, said: “From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55, she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs good cash.”
From a human standpoint Sophie Tucker was right. OMG is banking on it. Live 31 is fighting it.
A century later, we women still measure our worth primarily by physical beauty (with a dash of intelligence and athletic ability). Early in life, we learn where we land on the scale, then despair as we slide down it. As our looks fade, our minds become confused and our bodies fall apart, “good cash” takes on a whole new meaning.
I remember clearly the day I became invisible. Walking through the mail with my teenagers, the females (regardless of age) were noticing my son while the males noticed my daughter. Whatever spot I previously occupied on that scale of physical beauty, I had slid to “invisible.”
Yet, the Apostle Paul says we have reason to rejoice because God in His grace gives us something more lasting than good cash or good looks.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5:1-2
In Romans 1-4, Paul tells us where we fall on the scale of perfection. Regardless of how beautiful we are on the outside, we will never be “good enough” to stand before a holy God. We are a sinful wretches and left to ourselves we can do nothing about it.
BUT having been justified by faith we “hope in the glory of God” (Rom 5:2). The day is coming — for those who trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ — when we will be “good enough.” In fact, we will be better than “good enough”, we will be perfect — guaranteed. It’s a hope that will not disappoint (Rom5:5) and it will be better than our wildest imaginings. It puts on top of the scale.
Some years ago a friend of mine told me of a conversation he had with a lovely, self–assured young woman. “You’re very self–confident,” he observed, “Can you tell me why?”
“Yes,” the young woman answered, “I’m pretty.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” my friend said with great wisdom.
“Why?” she responded in surprise.
“Because,” he replied, “You won’t always be pretty.”
You won’t always be pretty, but once you are justified by faith, you will always have reason to exalt in the hope of the glory of God. Glory beats pretty every day. Skip the T-shirts. Live 31.
Part of the series: Romans: Justification by Faith
Photo used here under Flickr Creative Commons.