September 17 - More Than Skin Deep

By Mike Clarensau

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 23:17–18

Central Thought: A life of righteousness is worth admiring.

     A recent survey shows we're pursuing a higher level of heroes than in past decades. Of the ten most admired men, this survey showed seven political leaders, two religious leaders and only one athlete. For admired women, again seven governmental leaders filled the list. A movie actress, a singer, and a television star rounded out the top ten. That's a bit of a change from the media-dominated lists of the past.

     Maybe we're becoming more serious. Perhaps recent crises have caused us to prize leadership over fame. Of course, we cannot be so foolish as to think our days of admiring someone's possessions and overlooking their character flaws are long gone. Once a feeling of national safety has been secured again, those with the million-dollar smiles will climb back up the list.

     National surveys don't have to pick your heroes. On the contrary, each of us has the right to select his or her own list of the admirable. But what standard will you use? Will you overlook a host of indiscretions while admiring possessions? Is fame your ultimate target?

     The writer of today's Scripture calls us to aim higher. He encourages us to turn away from the lure of a sinner's life and seek to fear the Lord. If righteousness will be your aim, then it will also be the standard by which you build your own most-admired list. After all, that list reveals what you truly treasure.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to see clearly the best fruits of life. Keep me from selfishness and greed and the pursuit of those who possess. Your wisdom and righteousness are my true treasure.

Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 25:1–28:13; Galatians 3:10–22; Psalm 61:1–8; Proverbs 23:17–18