Claiming True Beauty
Previously posted on Rubies Like Ruth (May 2011)
A frown crossed Marie’s face as she stroked the brush through her hair. It was not exactly a describable color – it wasn’t a blonde, or brown, red, or black. It was just . . . some color. Her gaze left her hair and briefly studied her face. She tried to feign a smile, but her forehead creased with dissatisfaction. No, she was not at all pretty. With a small sigh, she turned and left the mirror.
How many of us are like Marie? The “girl in the mirror” is not nearly as pretty as our eyes would like to behold, but the “girl in the mirror” is the true, unchangeable “me.” A girl’s dream is perhaps to be slender, tall/short, with beautiful hair, and of course, pretty features. But more often than not, we stand in front of the mirror thinking, “I’m just plain and ugly.” In a frantic attempt to undo this insufferable ugliness we paint ourselves, changing what we can but leaving much more than we want undone.
When indulging ourselves in this vain self-pity, how often do we stop to consider what we are doing? The God Who told Jeremiah “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee” (Jeremiah 1:5, KJV) is also the God Who formed us. The God Who was praised “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) is the same God Who should be praised for His marvelous handiwork of our lives. The God Who made Adam in His Image (Genesis 1:26) still creates humans in His Image. The God Who did all this is the same God to Whom we are ungrateful for the appearance He gave us.
Have we forgotten that “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised?” (Proverbs 31:30) Even Jesus was prophesied as a man who had “no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2) It was not outward attractions that drew people to Christ – it was Him, His perfect loveliness.
As Christians, we are to be like Christ; but too often I am afraid that we lose focus. Instead of perfecting that inward beauty, we look at outward beauty. Are we more focused on vain beauty than we are on significant beauty? Are we so concerned about what others think of us that we forget to ask, “Let others see Thee in me?” Is our physical face more important than the face we put on the title “Christian?”
If our aim is towards any beauty at all, should it not be the beauty described in 1 Peter 3: 3-4? “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Facial flawlessness and a perfect form may be what the world sees as great beauty, but here the Bible clearly states that the meek and quiet spirit is “in the sight of God a great price.” Is the value of outward beauty so great that we would trade it for God’s acceptance?
Nothing is more beautiful than a girl or young woman who is sold out to Christ, and there is nothing uglier than a girl who has all the “beauty” of the world, yet is vain, proud, selfish, and etc. Which are we going to choose?