How many times have you looked in the mirror with a critical eye and complained about the negative attributes staring back at you? You know what I’m talking about…those crow’s feet, lines, blemishes and hair (all in the wrong places)!
And don’t even get me started on the constant nitpicking I have a propensity to do about weight, muscle-tone and lack of elasticity in my skin!
Of course, this topic comes at the perfect time because I’m peeling from getting too much sun from our beach trip, I’m broken out all over my body from a reaction to the sunscreen and now I’m worried that I’ll be like the crackled, old woman in the movie, Something About Mary, who tans WAY too much!
It all comes down to the fascination and obsession that we have with what we and others see on the outside. We all spend a great deal of time planning, fixing and helping our external appearance, but how much time do we take to do those same things for our insides (a.k.a. soul, heart or spirit)??
I know I don’t do it nearly enough…sigh.
Unfortunately, many of us tend to criticize the image in the mirror instead of seeing ourselves as God sees us.
“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7
It’s upsetting to realize that I’m worried about the wrong thing and I’m wasting a ton of time on something that matters not to my Creator.
Sure, I need to be healthy, clean and treat my body like the temple it is (see 1Corinthians 6:19-20), but it’s not good to be consumed and bothered by what’s on the outside (including all those tiny issues that we each have).
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1Peter 3:3-4
Instead of spending so much effort on creating the outside façade to be immaculate, how about working on building our internal characteristics to a God-favorable level?
Oh… and even better…why not try to stop judging others by their outward show? Argh! Now, I’m meddling!!!
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
The above scripture is a great example that beauty, deformities, disabilities, aging or whatever else is seen externally is NOT what lasts for eternity.
So, what do we have to know before we can “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” that God wants us to be?
Well, we have to know that:
- We are God’s children. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1John 3:1
- God created us uniquely. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made….” Psalm 139: 13-14
- God loves each and every one of us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
It’s important to remember that God loves us flaws and all and He doesn’t make mistakes.
We can work, worry and whine about what’s on the outside as much as we want, but God really wants us to focus on what is on the inside!
What changes do you need to make today?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 30:31 – Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.