Have you ever thought about what it takes to be a truly beautiful person? I’m sure all of us have our own definitions of this, but I would like the simplicity in knowing exactly what I must do to achieve my desire. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me but this longing to be thought of as beautiful has always been a burden on my heart. I have literally worked out for hours on end trying to achieve this goal. I used to spend way too much money on tanning and getting my hair done. I have bought all the clothes and accessories that I knew would complete the package. In my heart I became jealous of those who I thought God blessed more than me and did my best to make up the difference. I deeply desired the love and acceptance that I knew would soon follow so thoughts of me and my physical appearance consumed my mind.
But that led me to wonder what exactly beauty is? Where did it come from and why is it here? If God made us all how can some be considered less appealing than others? Surely he wouldn’t create someone he thought of as ugly…that makes no sense.
I would hope the obvious answer is that beauty cannot be found in physical appearance and that one is not naturally blessed more than another thus creating a dividing tension for what cannot be controlled.
So what does the one who created our appearance say that beauty is??
1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance (David's brother Eliab) or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
It would seem that God cares more about our hearts. This is great except for the fact that in our day to day interactions with the world others do not necessarily follow this creed. Then I have to ask myself: Who am I trying to impress? And more importantly why?? Exactly whose love and acceptance do I crave? Do I really want the attention of someone who loves me because I am tan, skinny, or have nice clothes? What would then happen if my body changes or winter comes and my skin is once again pale. Will this same person stop caring about me?! How superficial and sad. Even sadder is the realization that it never crosses my mind to stop thinking of myself for one second and love someone else. Possibly give some of the money I spend on myself to a greater cause. Call someone who needs a friend. Do something for someone else! Love God and ask what he wants of my life so that when all is said and done it could be said, “Wow, what a giving and beautiful life she lived.” I want to live a life that God considers beautiful since He is the one who loved me first and the only one who can save me from this world and from myself. He loved me even in midst of the ugliness of my heart and now I hope to be able to say that my pursuit of beauty is found in loving God and others.