Sure You Want To Say Vain

June 3, 2008
By Emily Daly, Jacksonville, OR

Excessively proud of one’s appearance, or accomplishments; conceited. This is the definition of vain. This generation has come to value beauty and vanity. We have, in a sense, become a vain nation. There are so many procedures, which can change our physical appearance. Why do we go so far? Why do we spend so much time and money on “beauty?” The reason is because we, as a people, have truly become vain. We value something that is “lacking in worth” and is “empty.” This is the second definition of vain.

Over the past seventeen years, I have acquired a large vocabulary. I learned the second definition of vain from my pastor. It was in a Sunday night service. He was preaching on works, and how working for our salvation is in vain. He said vain comes from the Latin word “vanos”. This word means “empty”. The verse in scripture says working for our salvation is worthless. It will grant us no lasting worth. He moved on to the next point, but I sat and thought about what he just said. What else in our world is vain? What do we strive to obtain that will give us no lasting worth?

Beauty. That is the answer. Beauty is the exact definition of vain. It is lacking in worth. It is empty. It has a value of zero. Why does our world strive so hard to obtain that which is “lacking in worth?” The answer is simple. They are vain. They focus on the present worth of beauty. They forget beauty is carnal, and not eternal. This word beauty fits both definitions of vain. Although I should say both definitions fit the outside beauty. Vain is the complete opposite of vain. Inward beauty has value and worth. It is eternal, not just carnal. It is a beauty that last far longer than outward beauty.
Outward beauty is something that is here and now. It only last for a time. As we get older, our outside beauty fades. It lacks any lasting worth. People work so hard to make their outside look “beautiful.” They spend more time on the outside, when they should be focused on the inward beauty. Inward beauty last longer, but sometimes is the hardest to see. Our world is so focused on the outside, that they sometimes miss the inward beauty. You could know a beautiful person and completely miss it. Outside beauty fades away, but inward beauty stays forever. We should spend more of our energy looking and striving for inward beauty, then for brief beauty. Society in one sense has the right idea. Beauty is something we should strive for, but it’s the inside beauty we should want.

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