Timeless Beauty of the Godly :: By Candy Austin

There is just something beautiful about a godly person, especially an elderly one. On the flip side, there is something unbearable about an ungodly person, especially an elderly one as well. Reason being, we tend to look up to those who are older than us, one, for being a type of influence, and two, for being a kind of example of how we may or may not become. There is a ‘timeless quality of wisdom’ about an elderly person of God that is enjoyable to be around.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

First, let me expound on my time spent with some elderly people at a nursing home a few years ago. Granted, some of these people had issues with cognitive decline and were just ‘biding time’ by living in an unwanted place as a shell of who they once were. Some would hold stuffed animals or baby dolls while being pushed around in their wheelchairs. The dolls seemed to give them some sort of purpose or comfort by feeding and taking care of ‘somebody else’ other than themselves.

Early each morning, the nursing attendants would proceed to enter into each room to first check on vitals and then to help the residents get dressed for the day. Watching them do this made me wonder if there will come a day when I will have to have somebody help me get dressed and tie or fasten my shoes too? But I digress.

There was one elderly lady who, while being dressed, would constantly spell out the word ‘tub’ by saying, T-U-B… T-U-B… in a slow, drawn-out, ‘southern drawl’ kind of way, but nobody knew what she was trying to say. In my mind, I imagined that she might have wanted to take a bath, but unfortunately, there seemed to be no bathtubs in the rooms or at this nursing home facility.

Depending on what room you entered into, there would be a positive interaction or a negative one. For example, in this one room, there was an elderly woman who was, unfortunately, filled with nothing but rage. Whether she soiled herself on purpose or not wasn’t clear, but the fact that she would fight and curse at the attendants while they tried to clean her up made for a very uncomfortable and unpleasant time! There was absolutely no joy in this woman’s face, and no matter how much the nursing attendants tried to cheer her up, it would not work! Not to mention, the room smelled horrible, so it was hard to spend more than a few minutes at a time in there!

This is an example of what ungodliness does to a person; it makes them unbearable to be around. Not only that, the filthiness of their sin stinks to high heaven, and their demeanor will not be consoled or changed no matter how much you try to help or please them.

Then, there was a room with a tall, elderly man who loved to tell jokes even while he was being attended to and changed. Still, during an awkward moment like that, he made everyone in the room laugh or smile at the kindness and joy that he radiated. Dispositions like these made you want to linger in the room a few minutes longer because it just helped to ‘make the day.’

That is what godliness does to a person; it makes them pleasant to be around. Their joy crowds out any discomfort, and their attitude makes you want to linger around just a little bit longer. A demeanor like that makes life more pleasant, even if it is just for a few moments.

Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

Those among my favorite elderly people were some ‘Great Aunts’ in our lives. One of them was ‘who we will call for this writing,’ my Great Aunt Love. She worked as a Florist in her town and was such a cheery, thoughtful, and kind lady. I remember visiting her house one day, which was impressively decorated in an elegant and classical kind of way.

On that visit, she welcomed us into her kitchen by giving us something to drink and snack on. Aunt Love would ‘fawn and dote’ over my sister and me by telling us how ‘beautiful, smart, and grown-up’ we were becoming! Driving away from Aunt Love’s house that day left me feeling really special. Even though we only got to see her a handful of times growing up, she always left that impression on my heart. I will never forget my Great Aunt Love.

Then there was my husband Doug’s Great Aunt, who, for this piece, we will call Aunt Goodness. She was a very godly lady and one who loved to feed those who came to her house. Aunt Goodness was a petite little lady, but that did not stop her from working tirelessly for hours on end in her small kitchen, making delicious food for everyone! Her house would smell like real homemade cooking. Her dining room table was often covered with various plates of meat, bowls of side dishes, and baskets of rolls, biscuits, and gravy! We are thankful for the memorable times we had with her at her house and for being able to enjoy her delicious homemade meals too!

Once Aunt Goodness would finally settle down and sit in the living room, she would chat with us and always talk about her love for the Lord. She would ask us about our going to church, our lives back at home, and what was going on in the current News around the world. Even in her advanced age, she would write back to us often. We always left Doug’s Aunt’s house feeling like we were ‘well-tended to and cared for.’ We will never forget Doug’s generous and kind Great Aunt Goodness.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

When one thinks of the godly elderly, they often think of someone in the church. Truth be told, that is where they are usually found. For some reason, it seems to take a lot of us many, many years to finally settle down, put aside our pride, and give our all to the Lord. It takes humility and wisdom to develop in us so that we can let Christ finally take His rightful place in our lives. Just as God’s Word says, only a few will find and follow this narrow path.

For example, at the local church we were attending, there is a general Women’s Bible Study on Sunday nights, and there is an elderly Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday mornings. It was easy to decide which one I would attend because the general one with the younger ladies was not very warm or inviting, while the one with the elderly ladies was far more receptive, friendly, and welcoming. Even though I was the youngest one in attendance, neither they nor I seemed to mind. All that mattered was that we were there to fellowship, pray for one another, and spend time reading God’s Word.

There were 3 Ladies in that class whom I looked up to. One was the Teacher, and for this writing, we will call her Mrs. Peace. She displayed many of the fruits of the Spirit, and we all knew her favorite Bible verse because she would recite it often by saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice!” She was a clear Bible teacher and would have us take turns reading scripture, and then she would expound on them in ways that would help us to understand the passage better. I will always remember the godly Mrs. Peace.

Then, there was a lady in that class we will call Mrs. Longsuffering, for she shared my affliction in having a prodigal as well. She gave me a ‘sense of hope’ in seeing how her prodigal son came back to the family after nearly 25 years of wandering away. It helped to know that I was not alone in this ‘nightmare experience’ and that somebody had that ‘been there, done that’ testimony to share with me as an example of what the outcome could be. I will always remember the encouraging Mrs. Longsuffering too.

Finally, there was this most gentle and sweet lady we will call Mrs. Meek, for she was so soft and quiet in speech and demeanor. She always took the time to say Hello to me at church, while many women my age did not. I also loved listening to her read scripture, for it was with such tenderness and humility. Secretly, I wished that she was a family member that I could call my own. I will always remember the kind Mrs. Meek as well.

1 Peter 3:4 “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

My husband Doug also preferred the elderly Men’s Bible Study, and he got to know several of the men in there as well. Every Sunday morning, there was an elderly man we will call Mr. Joy, for he was one who ‘never saw a stranger.’ He was also a ‘soul full of gladness’ and would always walk up to greet us and make us laugh with some witty comment or joke that he would tell. Mr. Joy would also say a resounding, “Amen” at times throughout the service while most men kept quiet. We will always remember Mr. Joy for taking the time to greet and cheer us and those around him.

Our culture does not appreciate people getting old; it is as if it is something that we are to ‘strive to avoid’ at all cost! The Bible tells us that our grey hairs are a ‘crown of splendor’ upon us, if we gain it through righteousness. Only then can this crown of splendor be understood as something that is to be embraced. Our society tends to ‘throw away’ our elderly by unwisely deeming them as non-essential.

Proverbs 16:31 “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

There was once a time when the younger generation looked up to, respected, and even highly esteemed the elderly. Those days are gone when we can see on the News how vile people can just go around sucker punching and knocking out the helpless elderly on the streets for no apparent reason and with no remorse!

Guess what? If the Lord tarries, we will all become elderly one day. To me, it is comforting to know that God’s Word tells us that even in our old age, He cares for us and deems us as ‘very valuable’ in His eyes!

Isaiah 46:4 “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

Gotquestions.org: What does the Bible say about beauty?

What is beautiful in God’s eyes? Recognizing the qualities God has cherished in the lives of other people is one way to determine His concept of beauty. Noah’s implicit trust in God led him to construct a gigantic boat miles from water. Abraham trusted God’s promise so implicitly that he would have sacrificed his son of promise without hesitation. Moses yielded total control of his life to God and became the man of meekness. David gave his whole being to doing the will of God. No consequence or shameful treatment could keep Daniel from reverencing his God. Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy were ruled by God in every consideration and decision. They were totally focused upon Jesus’ will as they shared the gospel with all. In all these qualities, God saw great beauty.

Peter directed Christian women to focus on the inner, spiritual qualities in order to be truly beautiful: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful” (1 Peter 3:3-5). Peter is not prohibiting nice clothes or nice hairstyles; he is simply saying that a gentle and quiet spirit is even more beautiful in God’s eyes.

The qualities God wants in His people further reveal His concept of beauty. The beatitudes reveal some of God’s standards of beauty. An awareness of one’s spiritual poverty, sorrow for wickedness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, and being a peacemaker are all qualities of beauty. The epistles also stress attributes valued by God: keeping a living faith while enduring physical hardships, controlling the tongue, enduring personal harm to protect the church’s influence, making sacrifices for the good of others, and living by Christian convictions in the face of ridicule. All these are beautiful to God. Source

There is truth to the saying that ‘beauty is only skin deep,’ for true and timeless beauty encompasses so much more than the surface level that we can see! As you can deduce from this writing, what made the elderly people in my life beautiful to me was not in their appearance but in the godliness that they so radiated towards me and everyone around them!

One cannot have this ‘timeless beauty’ apart from the Lord Jesus Christ! Just as Jesus said, “Apart from me, ye can do nothing.” That is true… apart from Jesus, we can do nothing right, nothing of significance, and nothing of true eternal value. Apart from Jesus, we have no good thing in us, no real beauty, no significance, and no actual worth. Jesus IS our Life! He is our sustenance, He is our strength, and above all, He is our everything!

John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Apart from Jesus, we do not possess anything that matters! One can profess Christ, but to truly possess Christ is a different story! To possess the kind of Life that is Eternal is to possess a Life that can only be found in Him! A Life that we can live now for Jesus that is more abundant, whole, and meaningful, to be exact. The Lord Jesus Christ gives our lives worth, purpose, and beauty. Furthermore, He gives us a ‘beautiful anticipation’ of Our Blessed Hope and an assurance of the possession of a future Eternal Life that will be spent with Him!

Yes, those who emit this ‘timeless beauty’ of Christ are the godly, and for that we should be grateful. Especially for the elderly that have paved the way, leading by example, through displaying the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives to everyone around them.

Thank you to those who allow the Lord to shine in and through you for all to see, for that is the true definition of Beauty!

Proverbs 31:30 “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”

Until next time… Maranatha!


Jesus Will Come!