“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
Funny how you always hear this chapter preached as an ode to women, but seeing it through the lens of the Gospel, and knowing the church is called the “bride of Christ”, this verse struck me differently.
How many churches are so consumed with image and attractiveness to the world that they spend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy in the hope that they will bring people in the door?
It reminds me of the single, 20’s-something woman who goes all out: hair, make-up, nails, clothes…..just to hit the club in the hope that she will find someone who will make her feel desired.
The problem with this is, those people she is attracting are only attracted to the image she is projecting, not the actual person. They are drawn by her beauty because that is what she uses to try and lure them to her.
But we know this kind of relationship doesn’t last very long. Eventually, the initial attraction fades and you actually have to have a conversation with the person in an attempt to get to know them.
And as anyone my age or older knows, beauty(physical) fades. What once was so important and attractive to people when you were in your 20’s is now just sad, pathetic, and desperate when you’re in your 40’s & 50’s.
It’s not that you don’t still find things attractive, it’s just the wisdom of life tells you that surface-level beauty won’t be enough to bring contentment.
I see so many of our churches desperate to reach people and that is a great thing. We should, at our cores, desire to reach those outside the family of God.
But I feel that the methods we employ to attract them are leading to more superficial relationships.
It is why so many people enter a church, enjoy its nice amenities, awesome music, or dynamic preaching for a while, but then grow restless because they feel they need something new.
So they then leave this church for the one down the road that is newer and better.
God’s word tells us that the Gospel message is the power of God for salvation to all who believe (Romans 1:16) and that it is in Christ we find our identity as a child of God and the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1).
This should be what our lives display to the world.
We should be so in tune with God’s heart to rescue people that they are drawn to Him by the love we have for each other (John 13:34-35), not our vain attempts at whatever happens to be attractive at this time.
My challenge to our church family, Reconcile Church, and all my brothers and sisters out there is to be the church God created us to be.
Be the church where the sick can find healing.
Be the church where the lonely can find family.
Be the church where the hopeless can find hope.
Be the place where the beauty of Christ is on display so that people find the true substance of what the church was created for…
A true beauty that is worth committing your life to.