I love DIY and decorating blogs. I love to see houses, rooms, and furniture refurbished. I don’t get to do much myself, but I love seeing what others do.
It fascinates me to look at something and see how it could be renewed into another look or transformed into another purpose. Not to see it as it appears but as what it can become.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
Most projects or items are refurbished on the outside, while some receive a renewal on the inside as well. Those given new life on the inside usually display beautiful possessions.
This thought really hit me recently as I read a blog post on how the poster renewed wooden salad bowls she had purchased at a thrift shop by painting them white. On the outside only.
Then, it struck me. A headslap moment: I don’t want to be one that is redone and showy only on the outside. It’s the inner part, the heart, that’s important. I don’t want to be as the Pharisees. Jesus called them hypocrites. Fakers. Pretenders. An actor under an assumed character. Hiding behind a mask.
On one occasion, Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees “whitewashed tombs.” He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure.” (Matt. 23:27 Amp) Dead men walking. Stinky zombies.
In God’s eyes, all the hypocrites’ outward whitewashing could never camouflage their inward corruption, for their hearts were merely tombs of rottenness. Their outward confession of dedication belied their inward condition of denial! They possessed the bones of the Law but not the flesh of the Word!
What made the veins on Jesus’ neck pop out? His face turn red? His blood pressure rise? The self-righteous hypocrites! On another occasion, He scolded them, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce.’” (Matt. 15:7-9a NLT)
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned the multitude to have a Kingdom-entering righteousness rather than the for-show righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, otherwise, “you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20b NKJV)
Oh, how I want to be that refurbished soul manifesting beauty from the inside, displaying the beautiful possessions of the Lord, not of self. I want my renewed heart to overflow with His true righteousness and love. His goodness and grace. His peace and joy.
And I want to do as David said, “Worship the Lord with the beauty of holy lives.” (Ps. 96:9 TLB)
But how pharisaical have I become? Do I feign my love for others, while stabbing them in the back? Do I give hypocritical lip service to God while my heart is filled with who knows what?
The beauty of our lives is an offering of worship to the Lord and an offering of grace to others.