Have you ever noticed how people who advocate non-conformity usually end up conforming to one another? Hippies were like that. So was the punk culture. I guess outward appearance is more important than they wanted to admit.
Our culture teaches us to put a lot of emphasis on the outer man. Now it doesn’t matter what culture you are identifying with – the desire to belong affects the way you think about how you want to look. Fashion expectations and cosmetic appearances are hard to ignore. If your friends are into puncture art and tattoos, then it will be hard for you to resist doing the same. The outer man is an important part of who we are. Yet there is a fundamental problem here. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, God says, “Though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed.” The problem is that our outer man is decaying, growing old, and fading away.
The word “outer” here is the Greek word eckso, an adverb taken from the preposition “ek,” meaning “out.” It refers to things that are out,or on the outside.
The “outer” man, therefore, is a reference to our body – the outside of us. Step back once, and look at our society’s craze for fitness through exercise and diet. Add to this the cosmetic and fashion industries with their millions of products to improve our appearances, and you begin to get an idea of how much emphasis our culture puts on the outer man. But you’d better watch out! Instead of a tiger in your tank, you may end up with a skunk in your trunk, if you haven’t paid attention to the inner man! Think about it! The outer man is decaying…
Remember, outer beauty really is only skin deep.