Keeping Up Appearances

Michael Beck

“… For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.” (Hosea 6:4)

Man has no lasting beauty or glory. In the eyes of others, he can look good for a season, but when the truth comes out, it was more appearance than reality, show than substance.

Despite how many times this story has been repeated, men and nations cannot stop covering up their failings. Yet, the more we try to look good, the uglier we end up looking. Shame eventually replaces glory. Ridicule is our final reward.

The only real beauty and true glory any of us can possess comes from God. What is not of Him is vanity, nothingness. “…Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” (Psalm 39:5) Sooner or later, the star of those who promote themselves will fall. Only those who are living of, by, and for God will shine forever. Christ in them is their hope of glory.

Human beings are desperate for praise. They will even settle for undeserved applause. At the same time, they will run and hide from the slightest criticism, even when it is warranted.

Let’s stop pretending we are better than we are. Let’s acknowledge we are nothing without Jesus. He gives grace and glory to the humble. Any beauty or goodness we have is all of Him.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.