“Do you really believe that?” I turned and held the eyes of the precious woman asking me that question. Do I really believe that?Hmmm….that’s a tough question. I don’t know, do I? We were making booklets for our Hope Girlz small group the following evening. These devotionals happened to be on the meaning of true beauty. As this lady was looking at the words I had typed for the girls to read, she read one statement in particular: “True beauty comes from within, not without. Do you really believe that statement?” She turned and asked me the very question I was challenging my girls with! I knew the “right” answer to that question: “It is something that we need to turn to God with every day. We are constantly bombarded with images of what true beauty is and it is hard to walk away from magazines untouched by their messages. But if we get our confidence from Jesus then we can believe those words.” Is this statement true? Absolutely. Do I believe it? I want to.
So I am standing in Barnes’n’Nobles, Starbucks in hand, staring sheepishly at the beautiful, glossy faces in front of me. They all smile back perfectly. I bet they didn’t need to go through surgery to get their smiles to look like that. Not a hair is out of place. Their abs are as flat as my front lawn and their legs are as long and spidery as spaghetti noodles. Their eyes confidently sparkle as they model their designer clothes. No breakouts. No scars. Just drop-dead gorgeous. Wow. I walk away discouraged, reminded of all of my flaws. I don’t have a perfect smile. My hair has its days. My abs are…well…they’re there! My legs aren’t long and spidery. I don’t have designer clothes. I am flawed according to their standards; however, according to the maker of the galaxy, I am perfect–flaws and all. Natalie Lloyd so perfectly says, “Fall desperately in love with the One who thinks you’re more beautiful than a galaxy of stars.” Resolution #1: STOP LOOKING AT FASHION MAGAZINES! Beauty is more than just skin deep. Beauty is a reflection of your heart.
Have you ever seen a girl walk by and exclaimed, “She is it!” C’mon, you know exactly what I’m talking about! You can probably picture that girl in the school hallway right now! But, have you ever seen this gorgeous girl and then been able to get to know her and her attitude was just horrible? Did that change your entire outlook towards this girl? You know it does! She doesn’t seem as pretty any more. This is just one example of how beauty is so much more than skin deep! What is true beauty and how can we embrace and believe in it?
Beauty begins where our focus is. In the video above, Hannah taught us that beauty begins with our focus. Matthew 6:22 tells us that what we focus on is what we will ultimately become. Hannah also pointed out that if we are so focused on our outer beauty, we are simply focused on ourselves–not Christ. Ouch! So, what are some characteristics of true beauty?
- True Beauty is UNIQUE. (Romans 12:1-2) Be you! You were born to stand out…so stop trying to hard to fit in!
- True Beauty is RADIANT. (Psalms 34:5) Let Jesus’ light shine through you.
- True Beauty is LOVED. (John 3:16, Psalms 16:9-11) Walk like a woman that is filled with love. God loved you so much that He sent His Son to die for you. Stop taking this fact lightly! Embrace it! It is true….not a boring history lesson! This truth has the power to change your life if you let it.
- True Beauty is LASTING. (Proverbs 31:30) Beauty fades. That is a concrete fact. Who you are stays the same. Cultivate a heart that respects the Lord.
- True Beauty is CONFIDENT. (Romans 12:4-6) God-confidence stays with you no matter what situation you are in. We all have “off” days, but with Jesus you can still make a beautiful impact. Walk with your head held high. You are a daughter of the King.
- True Beauty is CAPTIVATING. (1 Peter 3:1-4) Beauty that comes from Jesus shines to those around you….trust me, with Jesus shining through you, you will be breathtaking!
Are these truths easy to wrap your mind around? Nope. Will you fully believe them in a split-second. Probably not. It’s an everyday commitment to wake up, stand in front of the mirror and thank God for making you fearfully and wonderfully. Now that’s something that I believe it.