I’m trying to write this with Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes” playing from my tv. I’ve never written with music on in the background. We’ll see how it goes. See also: how many typos and flashing cursor moments wondering where I was headed next because I started singing lyrics.
I write a lot in the notepad app of my Iphone. I had copy and pasted a scripture there a week or so ago. The plan was to use it’s inspiration to write something. A paragraph would form, I’d delete, leave blank until the next go. Today I decided I need to break it down. It was too played out. It had lost it’s brilliance in my mind. Before I settled into my metaphorical writing home, I knew I needed to unpack the suitcase of Proverbs 31:30.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Ready? Let’s go.
Other words for CHARM: attractiveness, beauty, glamour, loveliness, appeal, allure, desirability.
Basically, every single image we set ourselves up against, on tv, on social media, in magazines.
Synonyms for DECEPTIVE: misleading, deceitful, fraudulent, counterfeit, disingenuous, untrustworthy, dishonest, insincere, false.
Resists urge to make a “FAKE NEWS” reference. Additionally, did somebody say photoshop? What’s even real? I am a friend of filters. I am part of the problem.
I don’t feel I need to elaborate on BEAUTY, right? We get it. It’s what we desire. It’s what we commiserate in the lack of. It’s what we gravitate towards. It is NOT what God cares about. Make way for this truth bomb. Isaiah 53:2 describes Jesus has having “no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Now read what the Bible has to say about Satan in Ezekiel 28:12, “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
Really strips me of my desire to look good. How about you?
Words to replace FLEETING: momentary, brief, short-lived.
Back to Jack, a friend texted that she was listening to Mr. Johnson and that it always reminds her of me. At that very moment, I decided I needed to fire up an In Between Dreams playlist. It had been far too long and I was presently way too irritable for my liking. And as sweet as the banana pancakes my husband made me often when we were dating, the second song started and I was reminded there are no coincidences in matters of God. Let me introduce you to some lyrics from Never Know.
Never knowing shocking but we’re nothing
We’re just moments
We’re clever but clueless
We’re just human
Amusing and confusing
More lyrics to include, “We’re just a bubble in a boiling pot. Just one breath in a chain of thought”. But the Bible tells us this too. Many times.
James 4:14 You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Job 7:7 Remember that my life is but breath.
Psalm 78:39.. they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return.
FEAR is harder to translate in just a word list. People might mistake the word here to mean servile fear (the fear of getting in trouble) when it’s actually a filial fear (fear of offending someone we love). CS Lewis translates the fear of God to mean a “feeling of wonder and a certain shrinking”.
Having prefaced with that, I feel like we can now list the words: respect, awe, submission, reverence.
PRAISED: admiration, compliment, congratulate, applaud, approval.
But the footer needed here is from whom is that praise received? We that we know scripture challenges us in Galatians 1:10 to question whether the approval we seek is from men? Or God? So think more, Matthew 25:21, “…Well done, good and faithful servant!” And one more, one more… 1 Corinthians 4:5 says at the very end, after our heart’s are seen we will receive praise from God. The irony here is that, I believe, God made us to crave praise. He built it in so that we would seek Him for our significance. However, we are prone to fill the vase with compliments from this world instead.
And just like that, Proverbs 31:30 feels brand spanking new—and simultaneously like a proverbial spanking.
Try paraphrasing the scripture, interjecting the new describing words. Does it unlock new truth for you? Do you see it with fresh eyes?
[Attractiveness, beauty, glamour, loveliness, appeal, allure, desirability] is [misleading, deceitful, fraudulent, counterfeit, disingenuous, untrustworthy, dishonest, insincere, false] and beauty is [momentary, brief, short-lived] but a woman who [respects, stands in awe, submits to, has reverence for] the Lord will be [admired, complimented, congratulated, applauded, approved].