February 7, 2005
Encouragement for Today
"For the Love of Beauty"
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Certified Speaker
"Beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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 (NIV)
What makes a woman beautiful? Is it smooth skin, bright eyes or silky hair that makes a woman attractive to others, or is it her inner kindness, sweet spirit, and strength that makes others want to know her? We may say that inner beauty is more important than outward beauty, but do we really believe that?
The answer is found by examining the world in which we live. We are constantly bombarded with perfect models exuding external beauty. TV and magazines are constantly telling us that outward beauty is what people love - and we do love it. Not only do we love it, but we desire it as well. Evidence shows that women spend millions of dollars a year on diet supplements, Botox injections, having their teeth whitened, and body parts nipped, tucked and lifted. I can't say that these things don't turn my head as well.
When I first got married, I remember lying in my husband's arms one night, asking him to make me a promise.
"Will you promise me something?"
"What is it?"
"When you look at me as I grow older, will you promise to always see me as I am now?" He snickered and reassured me that he would.
Since then, I've grown older and wiser. I've come to understand that beauty is something we all long fo - r-even Christians. That's because it's a God-given desire. Yet, because we live in a broken world, we seek the good things of God in unhealthy ways. We need to know that truth so we can be set free from the bondage of grasping after something that doesn't exist. No magical treatment or surgery is going to keep our outward beauty from fading. To believe otherwise will only keep us from finding the true beauty we seek, an inner beauty. Proverbs 31:30 says it this way, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Have you ever known someone that even though they are getting older they are becoming more radiant with beauty? I know such a lady. She attends my church. Once she was shy, withdrawn, and stoic. Then, she joined a bible study.
As this woman learned of her heavenly Father's love and discovered her identity in Christ, as a daughter of the King, she was completely transformed. Her physical appearance didn't change, but her countenance did. She has become one of the most beautiful women I know. Why? The love of God has made her beautiful. The Lord filled her empty places and her low self-esteem with His love and acceptance. She now knows that God is completely smitten with her. She understands that she is His joy and delight, so much so that He has clothed her with His robe of righteousness and adorned her as His bride. With new confidence in her identity, she shines with the love of God and eagerly shares it with others. Oh, ladies, to be outwardly beautiful the inside must match.
According to Dr. Elliot Feit, any woman can be beautiful. "The key ingredient is godliness, which expresses itself in her being selfless, a good listener, kind, and caring. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone."
Understanding the profound truth that God loves us and is with us and then sharing that love with others will transform us from the inside out. Your beauty will radiate as you care for your family, volunteer at school, and serve in your church. In fact, don't be surprised if you become the most beautiful woman in your community, because now you know the truth; the best-kept beauty secrets can be found within a gentle heart, a quiet spirit, and love for God and others.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me, clothing me in your righteousness, and choosing me to be your own. Help me remember each day to walk in confidence of who and whose I am so that I can display your unfading beauty that lives within me. Amen.
Write on an index card these statements. Each day repeat them aloud as many times as needed until these truths are sealed in your heart. Then, share them with someone else. 1. I'm chosen and loved by God. 2. I'm the King's daughter, the Son's bride, and a member of God's forever family. 3. I am my heavenly Father's joy and delight. 4. I am forgiven, blameless, and worthy of my eternal inheritance. 5. I am never alone. God is always with me, in me, for me, and around me. 6. I'm created in God's image, clothed in righteousness, and I am beautiful.
How much do you value your outward appearance? Test yourself by how many cosmetics you own, how much time you spend in front of a mirror and how consumed you are with dieting.
Do you spend the same amount of time on your inward beauty as you spend on your outward beauty?
Why do you suffer from low self-esteem?
Are you confident in your identify as a beloved child of God? Why or why not?
What can you do differently to reflect your inward beauty?
"I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland." Isaiah 61:10
"By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4: 9-10
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30
"Beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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
"Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." 1 John 3:21
New! Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
Dreams of a Woman, by Sharon Jaynes
The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Monday, 07 February 2005.