Comely. It isn't a word we use or even hear often anymore. Its most basic definition is "pleasant to look at, attractive, agreeable or suitable." Common synonyms include handsome, pretty, good-looking, lovely and beautiful. Comely. A good thing. A pleasant compliment. After all, who doesn't long to be attractive, right?
If you don't agree, spend a few minutes watching commercials (or better yet, infomercials). Browse through magazines or surf the web. I guarantee you'll find all sorts of products, supplements, devices and gadgets for improving one's looks, whether it be by means of weight loss, hair growth, wrinkle remover or the perfect tan. There's a lot of money to be made in the search for the perfect beauty aid.
Oddly enough, though, if people would take the time to look in their Bibles, they may find the answer they've been seeking for and at a much better price than they ever imagined. Psalm 33:1 tells us that praise is comely for the upright. Praise makes us beautiful, not just on the inside but on the outside too. Have you ever noticed how much more attractive someone appears if that person is happy and positive and speaks kindly of others? On the flip side, those who are always negative, griping, complaining and sporting a frown that would frighten bats away are just not very pleasant to look at. With their bitterness exposed, they appear harsh and unfriendly, an extreme contrast to the definition of "comely."
Sure, you can try the creams and sprays and mechanisms if you want. There's nothing wrong with trying to keep up our appearances. After all, we are commanded to take care of the temple of God. But in our efforts, let's make sure we're not overlooking the simplest remedy of all. A mere attitude adjustment is the best face lift we could ever have. With a smile on our lips and praise in our hearts, our true beauty will shine forth. The worry lines will fade away because we're focused on the positive instead of the negative. The dark circles under our eyes will disappear because we're no longer losing sleep over today's struggles and tomorrow's possibilities. The peace of God will put a rosy glow in our cheeks and a spring in our steps. Our posture will improve as we stand tall in the knowledge that God is working all things together for our good.
They say that beauty is only skin-deep, but the comeliness the Bible speaks of penetrates the soul. It is the inward beauty that radiates out through us when we allow ourselves to be used by God as vessels of honor and praise. We spend so much time and money on the outward beauty that is only skin-deep. Don't you think it's time to give some attention to the inward beauty? Unlike the many beauty gimmicks out there, this beauty treatment won't break the bank. In fact, the only thing it will cost us is a willingness to let go of our old attitudes and adopt a new attitude of praise in every part of our lives. It's a bit like cleaning out our closet--out with the old, in with the new.
Comely. Yes, that's what I want to be. How about you?