What Does the Bible Say about Beauty?
- Pamela Palmer Author
- 2022 10 Feb
Beauty is from God and is a result of God’s creative hand. Beauty is good when it is not corrupted by sinful nature. Humanity, however, is obsessed with the notion of beauty. We desire to be beautiful, and we want the things we own to be beautiful. People pay money, have surgery, renovate, rehab, and the like all to achieve more beauty or meet the cultural standards of beauty. The idolization of beauty is all around us, and therefore, can be confusing, discouraging, and distract us from God if we do not understand beauty in alignment with its Creator.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
To find wise perspective and good understanding of beauty, we can look to Scripture for guidance. God makes things beautiful. Beauty can be understood in terms of human beauty and natural, God-given beauty. Scripture distinguishes the two, and therefore helps us navigate beauty without falling victim to the schemes of the enemy who tries to use beauty as a way to distract us from putting God first.
God has made all things beautiful in their time. He is the author of beauty and it is God’s designation that makes something beautiful. Truly, beauty is more than outer appearance or something nice to look at. Natural beauty is much deeper than that.
What Does the Bible Say about Beauty?
Scripture has much to say about beauty, and it becomes clear that there is a difference between natural, Godly beauty and human beauty. What God has made beautiful may not be what society or culture views as beautiful. When we try to keep up with human standards of beauty, trouble sets in.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Human beauty is judged solely by outward appearance. Someone has beauty if they look a certain way or fit into certain size clothing. Things that are large and expensive are what humanity considers beautiful. But God warns against looking on the outside as the measure of beauty.
True beauty is measured by the condition of one’s heart, and this is what we understand to be natural, God-given beauty. It is not one’s hair, skin color, or waistline that makes a person beautiful; what makes a person full of beauty is a heart that is kind, righteous, and holy. When we put God first and live like Jesus, then we are truly beautiful. Outward beauty will fade with time, but natural, God-given beauty has eternal impact.
Bible Verses about Beauty
The Bible includes explicit and implicit passages about beauty, and when woven together, they teach us that beauty is from God and created by Him. Consider how much beauty there is to be seen throughout creation and within humanity. Surely, there is much beauty to be found in the world around us that points us back to our Lord. Here are a few verses that mention beauty.
“Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings” (Ezekiel 28:17).
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).
“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” (Proverbs 6:25).
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).
These verses help us better appreciate real beauty and warn believers not to miss what true beauty is all about. Each of us are beautiful when we reflect Christ within us. God is beautiful. His creation is beautiful. We are beautiful because we are made in God’s image.
Photo credit: Pexels/melike benli
What Makes Something Beautiful, According to Scripture?
The Lord Himself is full of splendor and magnificence. Certainly, everything He has created declares His glory. Scripture affirms that God himself is beautiful and beauty is something that comes from being in line with God.
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).
What a gift that this world, created by God, is filled with much beauty which points us back to our gracious and loving Creator. The Bible teaches that beauty is less about outward appearances and more about reflecting God’s beauty.
“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed” (Psalm 34:5).
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Speaking, acting, and thinking in line with Scripture and the life of Jesus is what makes us radiant and beautiful. It can be dangerous to idolize the cultural standard of beauty and chase after that rather than seeking to be more like Jesus and furthering His kingdom.
Is It a Sin to Want to Be Beautiful?
When our pursuit of beauty is about bearing the fruit of the Spirit and becoming more Christ-like and righteous, there is no sin in desiring to be beautiful. Surely, believers should hope to be beautiful before the Lord because they are pure, holy, and pleasing in His sight.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7).
As this verse in Song of Solomon conveys, beauty is good when it is in line with God’s view of beauty. God desires to look at His children and see His beauty shining in us and through us. When we love, when we serve, and when we take care of the least of these, we are beautiful. When we pray, when we worship, and when we put God first, we are beautiful. When we are gentle, humble, and kind, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, we are beautiful.
The sinfulness of wanting to be beautiful is when we are worried about our outward appearance. We should take care of our bodies, but if we spend more time working on the condition of our skin and hair than our hearts, we are greatly missing the mark of righteousness. When we spend more time caring what others think or putting on a façade instead of being a light for Jesus, we are falling into the trap of pride and dishonesty. The pursuit of worldly beauty can come at a great cost to our souls and tear us away from God. When anything becomes an idol over God in our hearts and lives, it is sin.
A Prayer to See the Beauty All around Us
Gracious and loving God,
Thank you for being the author and creator of beauty. Help me to pause and spend time thinking about your beauty and all that is good, noble, and pure. Help me to see all the goodness and beauty around me because of you. Lord, give me a righteous perspective when it comes to understanding natural, God-given beauty, and help me not to worry about pursuing human beauty. Open my eyes to your beauty in the world around me. Help me to see what you see is beautiful. Correct any wrong understanding I have of beauty in my heart and mind. Let my life be beautiful in your sight and to those whom I encounter. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of beauty,
The Bible has a lot to say about beauty, which is incredibly helpful and relevant in a world which is so focused on beauty. Though society tries to influence what we think is beautiful, we can look to Scripture for help in truly comprehending what real beauty is about. We find in God’s word the warning against defining beauty by outward appearances, and instead, are taught what beauty really means. The condition of our hearts is what determines our beauty. When we are filled with goodness and live righteously, then we are beautiful.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images
Pamela Palmer is a writer, speaker, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces devotionals and faith resources to inspire keeping faith at the center of life. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of others. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is the author of Living a Deeper Faith: Nurture Your Relationship with God and Live a Faith-Fueled Life. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com, and you can follow her at upheldlife.com or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.