Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Does it Mean to be Beautiful?

As women there is great, unspoken pressure to be “beautiful.” Beauty as the world defines it is an endless, exhausting pursuit. Its focus on external appearance rather than the heart, moreover, renders it superficial and hollow.

Behind every woman’s pursuit of beauty I believe there is a desire to be loved and cherished. The world tells us to fulfill this need in earthly relationship and romance, but our heart’s deepest longing for love can only be met by Jesus Christ.

The world’s logic is this: Become beautiful so that you may be worthy of love. God’s logic stands in complete opposition: You are loved in your imperfection and messiness. You are deemed worthy of love not because you have earned it, but because of sheer grace. It is in this love that we become truly beautiful.

Jesus Christ is beauty in its fullest expression. Beauty cannot be conjured or created. Rather, beauty is a heart completely and fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. Beauty increasingly manifests itself in our lives as we decrease and allow Christ’s Spirit to consume us.

As women I think it is healthy and glorifying to take care of our bodies and attend to our appearance, but this should never be what defines our beauty. Our beauty should be defined by Jesus Christ. If you are like me you probably have built your perception of beauty on the world’s lies rather than God’s truth. Thus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to renew our minds with Scripture:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
-Proverbs 31:30

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelery or fine clothes. Rather, 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

Sister, you are loved in your darkest. You are loved unconditionally by the perfect and holy God of the universe. Rest in His great love and allow His beauty to permeate your life.

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