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Friday, March 11, 2011

More Than Pretty Pork


Other than the fact that I used to ride the famed Pink Pig every Christmas, I've never been one to think pigs are all that cute. Like many other animals that spend most of their time wallowing in filth, we've romanticized them a bit. Think Wilbur. Think the three little ones who had such trouble with their houses. Think Porky.

But to me, a pig is all bacon...or sausage...or pork barbecue. I prefer a pig on the plate over a pig in the pen any day. It smells better, for one thing.

And that's why I'm reflecting on Proverbs 11:22 today:

As a ring of gold in a swine's snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
Proverbs 11:22 (NKJV)

The last thing I want is to be compared to a swine, ring of gold or no. A pig is a pig is a pig. You can dress it up--as people do--bathe it, pierce a hole in its snout and stick a pure gold ring in it, but it's still a piece of pork to me.

And that's why Proverbs 11:22 is so disconcerting.

Solomon isn't comparing just any clueless woman to a pig. He's talking about a "lovely woman"--one who appears pretty on the outside, has good manners, talks intelligently, and otherwise seems charming. But under all that loveliness this woman has one major flaw. She has no good sense.

Dainty damsel she may be, but she isn't very discerning. She doesn't think things through. She chooses her friends without thought to their character, their influence on her, their paths. She participates in any conversation she happens upon and says whatever comes to mind. She makes decisions on a whim, spends her money on whatever strikes her fancy, and speaks her mind without any filter.

She may appear lovely to many, but under the careful scrutiny of God's Word, this woman looks like a pig with a piercing. Ouch.

So as I'm putting on my makeup this morning and doing my hair so that I might appear lovely, it might do me well to look beyond the surface and examine my ways, too. As I'm dolling up my eyes I might want to consider if I look at things the way God does or the way man does. And as I'm putting a little pink on my cheeks I might consider if I still blush at the things that offend my holy God. When I gloss over my lips I might think about the words that I speak through those painted lips--do they encourage, honor, bless? Or do they gossip, judge, condemn or spread contention? And finally, as I put my own rings through the lobes of my ears (no nose piercings for me!) I might consider what I'm listening to today. Will I entertain gossip, profanity, slander, silliness? Or will I choose the things I listen to a little more carefully than that?

You know, some people really like "cute little pigs." And I've noticed that some people look at "lovely women who lack discretion" through pink glasses too. But the bottom line is that God doesn't. He sees them as decorated pork. May we see things as clearly today as well.

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