We live in a culture where appearance often trumps character. The sexy, wealthy, and stylish are preferred over those with a beautiful character, rich of spirit and modest in adornment.
The apostles Peter reminds us that we should strive to be people of character, emphasizing the hidden person of the heart rather than mere externals.
Do not let your adorning be external- the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing — but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious (1 Pet. 3:3-4).
This is the emphasis we should have in our own life. We should value our character much more than our appearance. We should spend more time and work more diligently to improve our character rather than our appearance. If we had to make a choice between beauty and character, the decision should be obvious. Beauty is fleeting and superficial while character is abiding and reflects who we really are as people.
Not only should we value character in our own lives and decisions, Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that character should be the primary criterion of the judgments we make about others. In his “I Have A Dream,” he states the following:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Everyone evaluates and makes judgments about other people, but these judgements are based upon many different factors. The health of a society and nation can be determined by how people judge others. To make superficial judgments is to be superficial while people of character value and appreciate character in others. As Christians who follow a holy and awesome God, we should be leading the world in character development and character judgment. Let us all strive to allow character to trump appearance in our lives.