Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thin Skin

I love the saying attributed to Dorothy Parker which is: "Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to he bone."  I know people so beautiful that it goes "clean to the bone" and is most dense in the heart! That's true beauty! Indeed beauty resides in the heart!

How can an ugly organ have beauty? How can beauty exist inside? External perfection without inner glow is much like a lamp globe blackened by what's inside. We've all seen that, if we're old enough anyway. We light a lamp which emits soot. The lamp so appealing on the outside throws a dim light because of what's inside. It doesn't matter that there are no flaws in the lamp and that it has ornate design and precious metals, it's that inner impurity which flaws the beauty that could be if all inside was right!

People are that way! Some of the most beautiful people have the same flaw. Some pretenders to beauty paint that lamp of skin and apply expensive decorations, but the soot is seen in the dim light which passes through a dirty heart. On the other hand I know people, whether beautiful or common, which almost glow!  I think of a friend of mine who radiates. She's the epitome of a pure inside which makes her outwardly shine. That person is a Christian, not just in name, but practice. When she sings of the joy of God it's as if the knob of the lamp is adjusted for a even brighter light.
1 Peter 3:3 "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
Peter said it well! It's inner beauty which adorns and the adorning of the flesh is vanity. Those most vain are thin-skinned! Those with "thin skin" fail to take criticism well! They are ugly inside!

A beautiful person, inside, is the one who has these characteristics:
Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance..."
Those who love aren't quick to scorn. Unloving people think they're always right and never have the grace to admit that they can ever be wrong. Those who love listen and empathize. They are genuinely interested in how people are feeling and hurt when others are in pain.

Joyful people are never thin-skinned. The two just can't go together. They just can't readily be defensive of others who are merely trying to befriend them. The best compliment a person can have is when a person teases them. It's like "roasting" the main guest at a banquet. We tease those who we like! If people dislike another, they avoid them.

Long-suffering means that one person is patient with another. Long-suffering people are slow to anger and in general seldom loses their temper. People love long-suffering people because they get along well and aren't argumentative!

Thin-skinned people aren't gentle. They respond readily with anger. They not only get "mad", but also get even. They lay in wait for revenge!

Meek people are those who easily accept criticism because they are well aware of their own imperfections. Meek people handle criticism well because they don't have to be "perfect" or great in the eyes of another!

Temperate people react with appropriateness. Their actions aren't excessive for the the offense they perceive. They reason and resolve. They are even-keeled and never explode.

Think on those people whom you admire. They aren't thin-skinned. The people you like are loving, kind, considerate, gentle, good, meek and temperate. I didn't mention faithful, but you can depend on people who you claim as loving friends.

People have a hard time loving thin-skinned people. If you want to be loved, don't be thin-skinned!

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