Beauty is only Skin Deep

“Beauty is only skin deep.”  This a common phrase in our English language and it is true. It reminds us that beauty that is seen on the outside is just a thin layer – but on the inside we may not be quite as beautiful as we think. If that top layer was peeled away, we would find something that was altogether disgusting. The inside of all of us is basically the same; we are made out of the same stuff.

One of my pet peeves is the way corpses are displayed in various ways in America and around the world. I know there are scientific and medical reasons to use cadavers but to display them in museums and in exhibits has never been something that I have been comfortable with. It lowers humanity to nothing but an exhibit and it hardens the hearts of onlookers to death and its consequences. Death should be a healthy part of life, but not where death becomes second nature to us and does not affect us to realize our own mortality and draw closer to God as a result.

My family and I were visiting the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry along with my wife’s sister and mother. There we saw slices of a man one inch thick on display. It was not pleasant. When in Washington, D.C. visiting with a dear family from our church in Puerto Rico who are stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA, we went on the metro train to go visit downtown. The train was delayed almost 2 hours. While waiting, I studied an advertisement for “Bodies, Human” which is an exhibit that displays skinless human bodies in various positions mostly showing their muscles in some athletic pose. Now I could not but think that every one of those human bodies represents a soul, more than that; each of them used to have a soul in them and now that soul is in heaven or in hell. They also remind me that though our bodies can look very nice on the outside, on in the side they can be quite the contrary.

If you go yet another layer deeper you can see the heart. But while looking at a heart physically you can never tell the heart’s spiritual condition. The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that it is “desperately wicked.” We are so quick to judge someone by their outside appearance, but on the inside we are made up of the same stuff – and a sinful heart is at the core. Our sin is sickening to our God, unlike us, He can look past the skin and past the muscle layers and peer into our sinful heart. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7 that “…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” When God looks at your heart, what does he see? Is it dark, sinful and bound for destruction? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. The Bible says in Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Christ, because of His sacrifice on Calvary, can wash that sin away and give you a clean heart. Will you repent and put your faith in Him today? Beauty may only be skin deep but the forgiveness that Christ gives goes to the heart and soul and it lasts for eternity.

– Pastor Mark A. Sage


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