“A Beautiful Mind”

In the 1940’s and 50’s, actress Hedy Lamarr was widely considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world. It is for that beauty and a controversial movie early in her career that she was best remembered for decades. In more recent times, she has also been hailed as a brilliant inventor.

Among Lamarr’s innovations was a 1941 patent application for frequency-hopping technology that many call the foundation upon which Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and high-speed internet are built. Late in life Lamarr openly lamented about being desired by millions of men for her physical beauty, but almost entirely unnoticed for her beautiful mind. Lamarr had no formal training in science and technology; she was entirely self-taught. For all her fame and fortune, she still felt misjudged. And she was.

We are taught in 1 Samuel that judging by appearance is always a mistake, whether we find someone attractive or disapprove of the way they dress. Samuel learned this when God sent him to choose one of Jesse’s sons to succeed Saul as King:

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NIV)

Jesse presented seven of his sons and all were rejected. Samuel then asked if Jesse had any more sons. That’s when Samuel saw David, a slight-of-build shepherd boy who would slay Goliath and one day be King. Samuel’s experience with David teaches us the danger of judging people whose appearances don’t meet our expectations. Samson’s fatal attraction to Delilah teaches us the danger of putting physical beauty above all else.

Many people, fearing they will be judged by their appearance, use AI-driven “beautification filters” to enhance their appearance on social media. God knew what He was doing when He created you. You are perfect in His eyes. Let us pray that we see others and ourselves as He does. Ironically, it was David who put it so well:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

— Pastor Jerry Bader, Samaritan’s Heart Mission Church

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