About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

Redefine Beautiful - Encouragement for Today - January 19, 2015

Lynn Cowell

JANUARY 19, 2015

Redefine Beautiful
LYNN COWELL

"Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’" Acts 3:6 (NIV, 1984)

Every girl wanted them. And she "needed" them as well!

They were the boots that winter. Another season it was a specific backpack or jacket. Every year my daughter was in school, there was something she just had to have.

If Christmas or a birthday was near, she often got the item she wanted. But sometimes, by the time this special day came around, the crowd was wearing something new and my daughter had moved on to a different "need."

All too often, I knew the motive: my girl wanted to fit in. She wanted to be like the other girls in her school. And while I didn’t want to encourage her desire for material things, my mama’s heart understood. She didn’t want to be different … at least not in this way.

My daughter was convinced the object of her desire at that moment would meet her needs or fix her problem.

I was thinking about my daughter when I read the story of Peter, John and the crippled man.

Acts 3:1-10 tells the story of a man crippled since birth who was carried to the temple gate called Beautiful every day. There he would sit and beg from those going into the temple courts. One day, he saw Peter and John, disciples of Jesus, about to enter and asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him and said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (Acts 3:6b). Peter then took him by the hand to help him up. The man jumped to his feet and began to walk. He followed them into the temple jumping and praising God. All the people who knew the crippled man were amazed.

Every day, there are those we love who are heading to the gate called Beautiful to beg. A man-made "gate," beautiful is culture’s standard of what it takes to be approved. Asking those who have what it takes, we beg for what we feel we need. For the teen girl it may mean acceptance by the popular group or the boy. As women, it may be our need for significance and value.

But, like the crippled man, we don’t realize we’re asking for the wrong thing from the wrong people. He didn’t know there was a better solution.

Peter and John didn’t give the crippled man what he thought he needed. They gave him what he truly needed — to be made whole.

We too have places in us that need healing. Society has forced its standard of beauty, telling us we must look this way, weigh this much and measure this size. But just like the crippled man in Acts 3, we can be made whole. In the name of Jesus, we can redefine beautiful by His standard and receive the acceptance, approval and affirmation we need.

"All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV, 1984)

Father, I have been crippled by society’s definition of beautiful. I desire to be made whole. Heal my crippled spirit. Restore my broken heart. Make straight in my life where my vision of myself is crooked. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 45:11, "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." (NIV,1984)

Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV,1984)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Do you know a young woman who needs to redefine beautiful? Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants would be a good resource to give her.

Today, Lynn Cowell is sharing 3 Ways to Help Your Girl Redefine Beautiful as well as giving away a "Redefining Library," including copies of Magnetic, His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year. Stop by her blog to learn more and enter to win.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What do you do when you feel pressure to conform to society’s standard of beautiful?

Write one of the verses in Truth for Today on a sticky note. Put this verse near your closet or on your scale as a gentle reminder of how beautiful Jesus says you are.

© 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org