I sat next to a person recently on the train who asked me what I was going to do with the “wear and tear “ on my face. He said that Botox could help erase the impact of acne from my teen years. Get it taken care of, he argued rather boldly. Botox it!
It is amazing that so many people have been getting injections with this deadly poison so they can appear to be a bit younger. I am not sure if the women of Real Housewives of Atlanta-New Jersey-Los Angeles are recipients of this treatment, but I thought of a reality TV show that could be a revenue stream for Chi Alpha – Real Campus Missionaries of America – Stay Young for More Effective Campus Ministry. I’ll volunteer for a hair transplant, botox for acne, fat reduction, and extreme white smile package. I wonder how that could help us recruit and maintain more staff. Oh, the lure of the fountain of youth.
A botox treatment involves a doctor emptying a syringe into a person’s face, and the beauty toxin (oops, poison) temporarily freezes the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles. You go wrinkle free for a month of two and return to the doc for another treatment, um, fix. It is expensive and an illusion. Is a smooth face really worth ingesting deadly chemicals into your body? I like remembering that the scar on my nose came from my younger brother hitting me on the nose with a rake when we were kids. It’s not that I am masochistic, but just that it evokes a memory I want to keep – how we fought, forgave, and moved on from a tough fight in the backyard. That’s a marker in my life.
The tabloids in the checkout line at the supermarket indicate that vanity drives people to strange decisions. Many are willing to experience the pain of needles, to endure the bad for something they believe is worth it. Yet does Botox go any deeper than the first layer of your skin? Is there any solution to the wrinkles and wear and tear of our hearts?
My reading through Proverbs has once again revealed a gem. Take a peek at Proverbs 27:1-10. Verse six says “the wounds of a friend” are worthwhile.
I am sure at first thought you find it hard to believe any good can come from wounds – of any kind – caused by friend or foe. But real friends will bring to the light the character flaws, rough edges, and sins of our lives that they see in us. Those are the sorts of things that affect who we are, as well as our relationships with God, parents, friends, colleagues, employers, and so on. Who better to tell us what we really need to hear than a friend? Consider what tends to influence our self-image, identity, and witness for Christ. It is so easy to give into the pop culture notions of what is normal, acceptable, and admirable. As I observe culture, I see people talking and jockeying for status, power, and popularity.
Yet Scripture says we have access to a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Jesus showed us how he cheered on his close buddies to become the best “them,” they could be. He pulled them back from potential evil, held them accountable for their decisions, was long suffering when they were thick-headed, and told them they mattered to him.
Live communally. How can you be a good buddy? What “good” wounds do you need to share lovingly with a friend? Help your friends run from the deadliest poison of all, sin. Be willing to receive the input of your pals. Real friends help friends face the truth.
Love is a verb,