Discover Your Inward Beauty
Have you seen the "20 beautiful women challenge" populating social media recently? It's kind of hard to miss. "This picture is what makes me feel most beautiful because...." or "I tag the following of my beautiful friends." Don't get me wrong, I am completely in favor of lifting up your friends and reminding them that they are beautiful. But, what about those who don't get any tags or don't even have social media to be included in the new trend?
Self esteem is a pressing issue in our culture, mostly because of the pressure on today's youth. Society continues to place pressure on girls today to be a certain size or look a certain way or to even wear specific brand name clothing. This is especially difficult for young Christian girls because we are being told two different things about our image: one from the church and the other from the world.
The church tells us that we are beautiful and made in God's image and that inner beauty is what counts.
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of the Lord." -1 Peter 3:3-4
This scripture tells us that the Lord looks inward to find beauty. Our beauty should not come from "outward adornment" but from our inner selves. Verse 5 goes on to say that this is the way that holy women of the past treated their beauty -- they used their hope in God to adorn themselves.
Godly beauty is found in a gentle and quiet spirit. It's in the fruit of the Spirit: in love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
On the other hand, society give us models, bloggers and celebrities to look up to. Often, we fall short of this standards. To be beautiful enough, we have to be skinny as a stick, have perfect skin, and look like the girls on social media and advertisements. When in reality, those girls have been photoshopped and edited to look like what society thinks the "perfect woman" looks like.
Genesis 1:27 says that we are made in Christ's image. Psalm 139:13-14 says that He knew us before we were born and that we are "fearfully" and "wonderfully" made. The Lord made us perfectly - each and every one of us. God made us beautiful. He made us unique. We should not conform to what the world considers beautiful.
Growing up, I was really insecure about how I looked because of the lies that society was telling me instead of listening to what God tells me. In high school I based all of my decisions on what I thought people would say about me. Whether it was the clothes I wore or the things I said, I was forming and molding my whole life around other people's opinions. In my junior year of high school, I finally got over caring about everyone else and their opinions. I started listening to what God was telling me and discovering who God created me to be. I based everything on what Christ wanted out of me, not the world. This was so freeing for me because I could finally focus on God's plan and purpose for my life. I developed a stronger, deeper relationship with Christ.
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you." -Song of Solomon 4:7
You see, dear sister, you are beautiful. There is no denying that. The word of God doesn't lie. So, the next time you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, just remember that your Creator, our one and only God, thinks that you're beautiful.