When I choose to live within the lavish love of God, outward beauty begins to take its rightful place in my heart and mind.
I don’t always see my self as God sees me. Sometimes I forget whose I am, and long for acceptance and approval by others. (Isn’t that truly the root of most feverish attempts to make ourselves beautiful?)
Jesus did everything needed to make me beautiful. I need to dwell in the truth of it.
The easiest time for me to forget how God sees me, is when life is hard. The enemy of my soul loves to take any weakness and expand upon it. He does that with all of us, and so we need to prepare ourselves for his attacks.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. I Peter 5:8-10 (NLT)
My outward appearance is no more than a piece of who I am. I don’t need to use it to receive acceptance and validation, but rather I have the opportunity to express Christ’s lavish love for me by the way I appear.
Over the years, I’ve learned some practical tips in aiding this goal:
- I try to spend time early in the day with Jesus in his Word and prayer. This gives me the ability to see myself through his eyes rather than the eyes of the world. If this is a new concept, the book of Ephesians is a wonderful place to begin. (Clue: Look for all the times it says, “In Him…” and record what we are given or who we are.) As you read, ask the Holy Spirit to make these truths real to your heart and mind.
- I try to dress in the styles I enjoy, not to please others, but to honor God and express unashamedly how he made me. How would that look for you?
- How I dress does affect me. Even if I’m not going out, I dress so that when I look in the mirror, I’m pleased. I’m not an avid make-up wearer, but I enjoy wearing pretty jewelry and pretty blouses – whether or not anyone else sees me. How would this change your daily view when you look in the mirror?
- There are times when the Holy Spirit will convict me of something I’m wearing. If my appearance objectifies my body or causes men (other than my husband) to focus on my body, I’m devaluing the way Christ made me to honor and express him.
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b (NLT)
As I grow in seeing my appearance as an opportunity to shine as one deeply loved by Jesus, I become even more beautiful! I also more clearly reflect that love to the world.
How are we outwardly expressing Jesus’ lavish love for us, beautiful ones?