Thursday, March 11, 2010
More Talk On Beauty
I love, love, LOVE the comments I'm getting from yesterday's post, both here and on Facebook. Let me make one thing perfectly clear--GOD IS PRIMARILY CONCERNED ABOUT OUR HEARTS! I am not advocating that we spend inordinate amounts of time prettying ourselves up. I am only saying we should not neglect our outward appearance. Cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit does not give us an out in working on our temple of the Holy Spirit.
Let me reiterate yesterday's main point:
Outer beauty IS important to God, not as important as our hearts, but part of the total beautiful package He's created in each one of us.
I know speaking of beauty in this way is uncomfortable. I've struggled with it myself. I've seen how others are intimidated or write off a beautiful woman simply because of her looks. To my utter astonishment, I've heard too many times about my being “unapproachable.” I've wrestled with how to represent myself to avoid such misunderstanding. Is it more loving to “dress down,” to go without makeup or do the bare minimum with my body for the sake of others?
In my struggle to understand, my husband gave me some wise words. “Why would you say you shouldn't look your best because it might make others feel bad? You don't do that in any other area of your life. You would never say ‘I better not play my clarinet too well or someone might feel bad’ or ‘I better not be too prepared for Bible study so I don’t make anyone feel inferior.’ ”
I never want to be guilty of saying any part of my life is "good enough" for God. If I am not my best for Him (or at least working to be my best), I am not giving Him His due.
It feels weird to say I want to look good for God, but I do. I want to be all He has created me to be and part of His intent in creating me (OR YOU) is to reflect His beauty. FIRST AND FOREMOST we need to work on our hearts, our inner spirit, our relationship with God, the unseen, eternal part of us. THERE IS NO BEAUTY WITHOUT HIS TOUCH ON OUR HEARTS. But we should not neglect our outer self, the image and representation of God. We are the only part of God our fellow man will ever see.
We reap a major benefit from attending to our outer beauty. When we are comfortable in our own skin, it frees us to put our mental energy into more Godly pursuits. When I am confident enough with my outside I am more likely to pursue relationships, to speak up in a crowd, to act on the love of God in my heart. I personally have spent WAY too many years feeling inadequate, hiding myself away being self-conscious about my physical body. What has that attitude prevented me from doing for God? How much time have I wasted? Will I have to give account for that when I get to heaven?
There's a reason women want to be beautiful. It's part of our makeup, our innate knowledge. Just as we have an undeniable yearning to know God before we can even articulate it, we know we are meant to reflect His beauty. Cultivating beauty starts in our HEARTS, but we should not think our outside matters nothing to Him.
Photo Credit: prakhar