Monday Morning Insights

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    The Gospel According to Ugly Betty

    Is Betty Really UGLY?

    The new ABC hit Ugly Betty has certainly attracted attention. Its main character, Betty Suarez, works at a high fashion magazine, but Betty is anything but high fashion. Instead, this rather plain-looking girl (won’t say ugly) endears herself to her boss, and to the show’s audience, simply by being herself. Betty is honest, smart, creative, and holds a deep regard for others. Apart from her outward appearances, the point of the show is that Betty really ISbeautiful. And so are you. 

    The Bible, God’s word to us, speaks of such beauty.

    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. 1 Peter 3:3-4

    The L ord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the L ord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

    Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

    Proverbs 31:30

    Of course, the main person the Bible speaks of is Jesus. And it’s very interesting what is said of His appearance…
    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

    The description goes even further....
    He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

    He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

    We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the L ord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53: 2, 3, 5, 6
    Wow! Jesus was pierced…crushed…despised…rejected. Those are pretty ugly words. That’s because sin is ugly…but we all have sinned, and it makes God turn his face away from us.

    But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2

    But Jesus went through something terrible to make something beautiful happen. His death on the cross could not have been more horrific. When you trust in Him by believing that He died to pay the price for your sin and that He rose again to give you eternal life, you are forgiven and reconciled with God…forever.

    Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.

    1 Peter 3: 18

    If you want to receive Jesus as your Savior, you can tell Him in a prayer like this one:
    Dear Jesus, I confess I have done and thought some ugly things in my life, and for those I am sorry. I know I deserve to die. I believe You are God’s Son and that You died in my place to secure my forgiveness. I also believe You rose again to a beautiful new life, and that allows me to do the same. I trust in You now to save me. Amen.



    Will tracts like this really be effective? I don't know. But it appears that it's ok for tracts that some churches give out to be 'culturally relevant'; just not the churches themselves who hand them out. Why would a tract like this introduce someone to Christianity and yet not a church that does a series on, say, "Ugly Betty"? Hmmm... I has so many questions, yet so few answers.


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    1. Peter Hamm on Fri, February 02, 2007

      I can’t stand tracts, but all in all, that’s not a bad presentation of the Gospel!

    2. Andy McAdams on Fri, February 02, 2007

      Looks OK to me…I agree with Peter though.  Tracts seldom get read regardless and often people get offended and think that Christians are strange when they are given one.  There was a day whey they were powerful tools.  But today, if we leave a tract on a diner table along with a cheap tip, we tend to think that we are a good “witness”. 

      Did you know that only 1.7% of believers came to Christ as a result of a tract given to them?  Praise God for them, but hardly compared to the 82.9% that believed because of a friend or family member sharing Christ with them 1-1.

      Oh…BTW, as I look at the picture of Betty.  I’m sure I dated her mother in High School.  (-:

    3. Stewart on Fri, February 02, 2007

      The problem with tracts isn’t their low conversion rate. 1.7% is a heck of a lot of people. The problem with tracts (IMHO) is how many people will never become Christians because tracts have reinforced all their negative feelings… (these people really don’t care, they don’t want dialogue, they’ve got a one size fits all mentality, they are bombastic, they are arrogant… etc…)

      It’s the same with a lot of evangelism. You have to look not only at your conversion rates but also your repulsion rates to figure out how effective you are.

      Just my two cents.

    4. Dan Moore on Sat, February 03, 2007

      It’s all in the presentation.  Tracts can be effective.  On our mission trips to Mexico, we have found tracts to be very powerful.  The last two years our teams did quite well with tracts in going door to door in small villages. 

      In the U.S., the best way to use a tract is to engage the person first in coversation and then as you leave, offer the tract as a reference.  I emphasize the “reference” aspect by asking them to think about what was said, get a Bible, and read the verses


      I did have a pastor who came to Christ because someone left a tract on his table in a restaurant when he stepped away to the men’s room.  He did not know who laid the tract there but he read it.  It caused him to think.  He saw the church address and phone number on the back of the tract - and later that week called the pastor, made an appointment, and later got saved.

    5. Micky on Wed, May 09, 2007

      About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

      Peace Be With You


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