This is one of the most superficial words I know. It is used a bit more than I am comfortable hearing as well. It is used 10x more by women than men, but for most of us, it is a cute fact of life. Remember, men and women are not better than one another, just different. If you use Facebook, Instagram or any other social media with photos, the word ‘cute’ is often used to describe anything from a baby to a living room, shoes, family photo, house, car, potato peeler, etc, you get the idea. It is typically used in a complimentary context, which is nice, but it also generally refers to the outward appearance or first impression only. What do you think is cute? Where do we go from there?
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 16:7
When my wife asks my opinion of any furniture, wall hanging, or other decorative thing for the house, I often just say it is nice or cute, which is not always what she is looking for. I have some preferences, but generally defer to her for most of those decisions. I have said before, I can (and have) lived with any color wall or style of furniture, as function tends to trump form on my priority list. Most men would probably say the same for most things in that we want things that work well instead of/in addition to things that look nice. Can the same be said of the people in our lives? Do we try to surround ourselves with an outward appearance that will try to impress others/God, or people with genuine substance and depth of character. Maybe we try for both, but which is our priority? We may like to have a cute house and a cute family that others can see, but hopefully, when people get to know us, we are much deeper than can be seen from first impressions.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:2
Hopefully, you are not taken in by celebrity news/gossip, as it is full of people trying to get their name in the headlines, and others wishing their mistakes were not broadcast for public ogling. There are few celebrities who are genuinely humble and try to downplay their role as popular. The best example I can think of is Jesus. Word got around that a new guy was doing some pretty amazing things…healing the sick, speaking with authority, forgiving sins. Yet he was not one to seek a crowd and become a celebrity, but in fact did the opposite. He told some he healed not to tell anyone what had happened, which goes against human nature. He enabled the blind to see the appearance of things in the world around them for the first time, though they probably knew true beauty and ugliness better than those who could see. Christ knew the true motives of all those around him and often called them out. What would he have said about me?
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Philippians 1:9-10
As we mature in our faith, may we continually be able to discern the true motives in what we see before us. May we be able to understand the spiritual forces in everything that we encounter throughout the day. Don’t disparage another’s comment about how cute something is, but rather help them dig deeper into why it matters. Help your friends and family develop depth of character and not just a superficial appearance of one. Seek to be a Christian in name and substance and you will honor the one who’s name we claim!
Strength and Courage in Christ,