Thursday, August 7, 2014
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There's one sure way to gather a crowd at our house. In fact it just happened last night. You just walk slowly through the house with a flat, white, large, square box – "Pizza!" And you will get that Pied Piper feeling. We've noticed that these pizza boxes all say the same thing. I don't know if you've noticed that. You can go to 10 different pizza places, and they all seem to have the same slogan. "You've tried the rest; now try the best." Somebody's got to be wrong about that.
Anyway, I'm surprised we ever noticed anything on the box, because the pizza box doesn't matter. We attack that box to get what's inside! I mean, who spends time admiring the box? It's what's inside that makes it so interesting.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Container Hang-up."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Peter 3. I'm going to begin reading at verse 3, and it talks about what really matters in a woman. Both men and women need to know this. "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment. Instead it should be that of your inner self; that unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
God says here that what really matters is the inner self of a women, not her outward adornment. And then Proverbs 31 talks about a woman who is praised by her children, fully trusted by her husband, admired by all those around. It doesn't get much better than that. It's the woman I think every woman would want to be, and here's what's really valuable about her. It tells us that in Proverbs 31:10, "A wife of noble character who can find?" What's the secret? Her noble character.
Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceptive. Beauty is fleeting (Like our pizza box.) But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." It's her relationship with her Lord. Again, the stuff that's going on - on the inside. There's not much here about the container is there? What makes her valuable is the contents inside the container.
This is a pretty radical idea in a world where a women's worth is usually measured by her figure and her face. Women look at a model in a fashion magazine and they compare themselves. They look at this beautiful woman and they go, "I don't look like that." Guess what? Neither does she. She's been worked on for hours by the finest hairdressers, they've got special lighting. Then they pick one photo out of 150, air brush that one. Yeah, that woman doesn't really exist.
Both men and women have bought the lie that the pizza box is what matters instead of the pizza. (If you know what I mean.) We can't stop the world around us from being all superficial. But as followers of Jesus, we can do better. Women who don't feel they measure up physically usually tend to withdraw or become negative or bitter. They give up on themselves. They get discouraged. They get desperate and settle for something they should never settle for. They actually end up killing the beauty inside that really matters because they're so focused on what they feel they don't have on the outside.
God's Word teaches us that our body is just an earth suit; a soul carrier. And while we cannot choose to be physically beautiful, you can choose to be beautiful on the inside. Not every woman can be gorgeous, but any woman can be radiant.
The Bible says to go for that inner glow; that inward beauty; to be a woman who makes other people feel important, who promotes others rather than herself, who develops this joyful, daily walk with Jesus Christ. It's time that God's men and women go after the royal radiance that a princess of God can have. That's what makes a woman a friend worth knowing and a partner worth loving for a lifetime. Don't chase what you want to marry. Be what you want to marry.
Just ask any pizza lover in our house. (That would be everybody.) The box is only important for a minute and then it gets thrown away. For you, it is what's inside that really counts.