Wednesday, June 4, 2014

True Beauty

Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised."

On a daily basis, we are constantly being bombarded with the world's view of beauty. Skinny, tanned, toned, big boobed ladies wearing next to nothing are paraded in front of us on tv, in advertisements, and magazines. It's hard not to see these images and come away feeling good about yourself.
I personally struggle a lot with feeling like I'm not good enough because I don't look like these models. My boobs are small. My stomach isn't flat. My hair isn't thick and perfectly sculpted. I tend to spend a lot more time than I should worrying about my exercise routine, what I eat, what I wear, and how my hair looks. Sometimes I'm downright obsessed with it.
The other day I was wrestling with these issues, feeling convicted for spending so much time dwelling on myself and my outer beauty, and then God brought the above verse to my mind. God, my creator, isn't concerned with how my hair looks or how flat my stomach is. He's concerned with my soul. Beauty in his eyes is a broken and contrite spirit that depends on him (Psalm 51:17). We look at the outward appearance of others, but God looks at the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)
As Proverbs 31:30 states, outward beauty is fading. It can be taken away at any moment. One of the ladies I admire most is Joni Eareckson Tada. She was injured in a diving accident as a teenager and became paralyzed from the neck down. She has been a paraplegic for 40 some years, yet despite her broken body, she is one of the most beautiful women I know. Her love for the Lord spills out into the lives of others as she has devoted her life to encouraging others and helping out paraplegics all over the world.
True beauty is giving our messy lives and imperfect bodies to God to be used for His glory. As believers in Christ, we are set free from a life devoted to making much of ourselves. We are free from seeking the applause and attention of the world. Let me repeat that: if you are a believer in Christ, you are free from seeking the applause and attention of the world. You are free from striving to make yourself beautiful and acceptable according to the world's standards and are now free and empowered to bring glory and honor to God.
Precious lady, I encourage you to stop striving to adorn your outer self and cultivate a walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:3-4) You are precious in his sight; frizzy hair, flabby stomach, acne and all. You can stop striving to be perfect and rest in his glorious grace. (Ephesians 2:5-10)

Discussion time. How about you? Do you struggle with how you look? What things have you done to try to achieve the world's standard of beauty?

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