DayBreaks for 09/26/11 – The Picture of Dorian Gray
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Oscar Wilde wrote a book called The Picture of Dorian Gray. It’s a story about a man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Everyone who saw him marveled at his eternal youthful appearance. But his beauty was only external. Inside where no one could see, he was dark – his soul marked by greed, lust and betrayal. In the story, there is a painting of him that shows the condition of his inner life. To start with, the painting of his inner life was as beautiful as his outward appearance, but his sin, over time, begins to show up on the canvas. Every time he’s deceitful, betrays someone, is greedy, lusts or is prideful, a spot or wrinkle or distorted feature would show up on the painting. Eventually, the painting got too hideous to look at, so Dorian Gray takes it and hides it in the attic where it can’t be seen. And when death finally does overtake him, the painting is representative of who he really was, not the youthful body.
Dorian Gray, you see, was the opposite of Paul. On the outside, Dorian Gray was renewed daily, but inwardly he was wasting away. It gives one reason for pause to ask the question: how differently would we live if the condition of our souls was as visible as the condition of our bodies?
PRAYER: Father, help us to be more concerned about our inner, spiritual life than we are about our outward bodies that are fading away each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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