Let’s be honest. Have you ever looked in the mirror and moved your double chin out of the way, pulled your skin tighter, sucked your gut in or worst of all, jammed yourself into a pair of spanx?
I think we have all looked at ourselves and wished we would have enjoyed the days of our youth a little more when our skin was firm and our other parts were a little higher, tighter and smaller than they are now.
“We may not be able to pay the bills, but we are going to look good.”
I looked up “recession resistant industries” and sure enough, number four was cosmetics. We may not be able to pay the bills, but we are going to look good. Even a downturn in the economy won’t stop us from pursuing what’s very important to us…beauty.
Beauty used to be the most important thing in the world to me. I come from a long line of pretty women. I’m from a small town and my family was kind of known for this trait. Boys used to pick me up for dates and when we got in the car I would hear things like, “Your mom is beautiful.” I didn’t think much of that fact. To me she was just my mom and I was very used to this reaction. People often thought we were sisters.
Then there was my sister. She dated the best looking boy in town and was the local beauty queen.
My brother was voted “most attractive” in his senior class.
I was a little bit of a late bloomer, but when the 80’s happened, I had the perfect trifecta: big hair, a big smile and really big shoulder pads
Then there was me. I was a little bit of a late bloomer, but when the 80’s happened, I had the perfect trifecta: big hair, a big smile and really big shoulder pads.
When we are young, we have no idea how time will fly. I am a grandmother now. The looks are gone, the figure is gone, but I have never felt more beautiful. I have found a secret better than a facelift. It grows each day and as my body goes downhill, this beauty goes uphill.
“As my body goes downhill, this beauty goes uphill.”
It’s the life of Christ inside, my hope of glory. I get to live behind the veil with God and He is taking me from glory to glory with ever increasing glory.
He has told me to set my mind on things above and look intently at what I cannot see. What I cannot see is real, what I can see is passing away.
Warning: This does not come naturally to any of us. We are made of the dust of the earth and we fiercely cling to this planet and all the things that truly don’t matter. We get very upset when anyone messes with all our stuff. We spend lots of time focused on what we look like. We work very hard to make our world completely comfortable for us and our families. We protect our rights vehemently. Yet, this makes us miserable.
Why? Because what we see with our eyes is not the truth. It is temporary. We were never meant to focus on what doesn’t matter.
When Jesus came to earth, is there one single shred of evidence he worried about clothes, food, status, education, his physique or any of the other stuff we absolutely obsess over?
Disclaimer: This is not a license to not take care of our bodies.
God formed Jesus in Mary’s womb, yet was careful to make Him less than physically beautiful?
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
His plan for His Son also included His profession. He was a carpenter instead of a scholar. His power, wisdom and beauty came from what was unseen, The Holy Spirit. Scripture makes us privy to the key to his influence and greatness.
Philippians 2 says He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant. It goes on to say something that could easily be overlooked but is power packed.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky….Philippians 2:14-15a
These scriptures hold the two keys to real beauty.
Do everything without:
Could scripture mean everything? I believe it absolutely does.
Grumbling-murmur; to show “smoldering discontent,” droning on in a low, constant murmur.
Arguing-reasoning that is self-based and therefore confused.
When I see those two words, my mind goes to the Israelites in the desert. God had conquered a nation for His people, parted the Red Sea, brought water from a rock, was visible in a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night, yet they were full of smoldering discontent and all they thought about was themselves.
They wanted the Promised Land and an easy life on earth. They did not care about the God of the universe. They cared that He give them everything they craved and then leave them alone so they could live life on their terms.
He wanted them to be a city on a hill shining on a dark planet. God has always loved the whole world and Israel was God’s way of showing the world what He was like. He wanted to be in their midst, care for them, fight for them, love them and shine through them in such a way that the world would know what it was like to belong to the God of heaven.
We can judge them harshly, but do we grumble and argue?
“We are empowered to go about our daily lives never grumbling or arguing. This is one of God’s most powerful ways to evangelize a dark world. If we actually did this, most people would be in shock and awe.”
We have hope beyond our wildest dreams living inside of us. Because of that reality, we are empowered to go about our daily lives never grumbling or arguing. This is one of God’s most powerful ways to evangelize a dark world. If we actually did this, most people would be in shock and awe.
I want both my body and soul to be what God designed them to be, vessels that shine with the glory of my Creator. As my skin gets more wrinkles I want to fully accept every single one of them. Women often mourn the loss of outward beauty but listen to what God says:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“As we soak in the presence of God and make a habit of doing everything without grumbling or arguing, we are guaranteed to get a little prettier every single day.”
As we soak in the presence of God and make a habit of doing everything without grumbling or arguing, we are guaranteed to get a little prettier every single day. There is no amount of makeup that can rival a face aglow with the glory of God.
This started with how to be beautiful in two easy steps. You may feel a little tricked if you made it to the end. Granted, it’s not easy to live a life completely free of grumbling or arguing. I would go a step further and say it’s impossible. It was never meant to be easy or possible to you or me. However, it will be the natural outcome of life emptied of self and full of God.