You are beautiful - inside and out

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God.... (I Peter 3:3-5)

I might just burst your bubble today - that new hairstyle is nice, but your real beauty comes from within. The more 'beauty' your heart develops, the greater the true beauty within your life will begin to shine forth. This type of 'beauty' is only possible for those who have said a resounding 'yes' to Jesus' authority in their lives - not a casual acquaintance with him, but a deeply committed relationship with him. Some have used this passage to say we should not wear make-up, dye our hair, or adorn ourselves with jewelry, but this was not the meaning. The goal of these verses is summed up in the beginning of verse 5: They put their trust in Jesus. This is the only thing that will produce lasting beauty when all the other forms of 'adornment' begin to fade. A gentle and quiet spirit is not the byproduct of anything this world has to offer us. It is the byproduct of spending time with Jesus. The beauty produced in just a few dedicated moments with him in the quiet of your day can surpass all the masking of any beauty product, tuck, or peel you can find on this earth. We search for beauty in various places, but it is found at the foot of the cross. The moments we spend with him each day begin to soften our hearts - clarify our minds - and settle our emotions. Nothing produces such a beautiful 'adornment' as these three!

Was does it mean to put our trust in God? It means we stop trusting in the things 'we' can do for ourselves, and we begin to trust in the things God has already done for us. I had to see how the dictionary actually defined beauty and this was the first definition I found: the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest). That part about a 'meaningful design' caught my attention. Why? I think God has given each of us a 'meaningful design' that only he can create and complete within us. That 'design' doesn't come together by casual encounter, but by consistent contact and submission to the one who loves us so much. Our 'design' is realized at the cross - it is completed with each contact we have with the one who makes all of life 'meaningful' - Jesus. So, get your true beauty on today by taking the best of your day and spending it with him. Your heart, mind, and will will be transformed so that the highest spiritual, mental, and physical qualities are manifest. Just sayin!

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