Beauty’s Only Skin Deep

Acts 24: 22-27

We called my dad’s mother Madea. She was always ready with good comfort food and a wise saying. She believed “home training” was her job, home cooking made people feel better and a word to the wise was sufficient. Unless a switch or a swat to the legs got her better results. When I was younger, her wisdom just sounded funny but now that I am older and have kids of my own, I realize what a gift she gave us.

For instance, she would often tell my cousins and me that “pretty is as pretty does.” My girl cousins and I would be all dressed up for Sunday School admiring ourselves in the mirror. Hair pressed and bangs curled, ribbons and bows on every plait and black patent leather shoes all shined up with hair grease. All it took was one of us saying something ugly or raising a hand to hit somebody. And right after her hand gave us all a swat on the legs, we were certain to hear, “Pretty is as pretty does.”

Our woman of the week, Drusilla, could have benefitted from my Madea’s wisdom. It is said Drusilla was an incomparable beauty, with Oriental features. The youngest in her family, she was more beautiful than her two sisters and this caused a great deal of hatred between her and the eldest girl, Berenice.

Drusilla’s beauty caught the attention of Felix, a Roman governor. So much so that he had a friend talk her into leaving her current husband and illegally marry Felix. Not only was she not divorced nor was her husband dead, she, a Jewess, was living in sin with a man who was not a Jew.

Paul_before_Felix
William Hogarth

Drusilla sat with Felix before Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome as he spoke of justice, chastity and the coming judgement. Because of her Jewish heritage, she would have been familiar with what Paul spoke of. However, scholars believe that when Felix began to tremble with conviction because of his sin, Drusilla had Paul sent back to his prison. It seems she was not willing to change her wicked ways and didn’t want Felix changing his either. Her heart was not moved by hearing the Word.

The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7 that man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. I think that’s what Madea wanted me and my cousins to know. That it is what’s in our hearts that guides our actions to display true beauty, not how we look on the outside.  She wanted us all to show others the God in us. 

Now that’s home training. Selah…

~ ~ ~

Your turn.

What great wisdom did you receive from an elder? When have you judged a book by its cover? What were your results? Come share with us on our blog. ~ Andrea

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