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THIS WEEK’S VERSES:
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
A MESSAGE FROM SARA:
Oh to be sitting down and writing about the idea of beauty. This has been part of the foundation of Be Still Be Free. About 10 years ago, the Lord brought the verse I Peter 3:3-4 to me and really stopped me in my tracks that the idea of unfading beauty is being gentle and quiet.
Let me just say that I was never really one of being gentle and quiet. But this verse really pierced my heart that I needed to allow God to soften my spirit and give me a heart of unfading beauty.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I knew that I still had to take care of my physical being but I needed to work out my inner beauty. Gentle and quiet does not mean silent either, it is your countenance, your spirit, your delivery. But I knew that if I could transform these simple principles, I would learn to be happier. I needed happier; I needed to learn to love me again and feel beautiful.
Now I need to be honest…I really struggle with accepting myself as being beautiful. Somewhere through the life of getting older I really felt gross about myself even though I work out hard and have been on a diet for most of my adult life…sigh.
But when I was young, I knew that it was what was on the inside that really mattered to God more than anything else. Where did that go? How did I get so focused on my outward appearance? So, I want to share with you some really cool things I found while researching for this topic:
Beauty defined and translated literally means beauty or pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically (raphah). But then I found this definition that just really got me because the content is awesome but also because this was not found on a Christian website:
Beautiful is a woman who has a distinctive personality, one who can laugh at anything, including themselves, who is especially kind and caring to others. She is a woman who above all else knows the value of having fun, and not taking life too seriously. She is a woman that you can trust and count on to brighten your day. She is a woman who can inexplicably make you feel really good just by being around her, and yet brings such great sadness when she is gone. She is a woman who I will never really get to know (Urban Dictionary).
This is beauty!! This needs to be our goal…our focus! Taken from the internet:
I close with one final question. Was Jesus beautiful? When I asked that on Sunday morning, I got varying answers from the congregation. The answer is, it depends on what you mean. Isaiah 53:2 says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” When Jesus was arrested, he was beaten almost beyond recognition. The soldiers scourged him until his skin hung in tatters. They pushed a crown of thorns on his bloody head and covered him with a purple robe. They beat him and then they beat him again. They nailed him to a cross and suspended him between heaven and earth. It must have been hard to look at him near the end. Finally, he cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Then he bowed his head and died. The Father looked down from heaven and said, “That’s my beautiful son.”
Jesus was never more beautiful than when he died on the cross. By the world’s standards, he was a criminal. To those who believe, he is our Savior. To the Father, he was the Suffering Son who had completed his task on earth.
Living under the cross is beautiful in God’s eyes. Put your hope in God. Follow Jesus all the way to the cross, and your life will have a beauty that can never fade away. Amen.
Friends, we spend so much time preparing our outer self but so little time investing on our inner self. God tells us that the inner affects the outer. Just like we need to be still first to know God, we need to learn to prepare our spirit, our countenance, our character in order to truly feel beautiful.
1. Find 2 or 3 people that you trust but that won’t tell you what you want to hear. Ask them why they love you…list 2 or 3 things of why they love you or what they love about you.
2. Quiet time can change your countenance. Ask Him to allow the spirit inside of you radiate out of you. “Wisdom brightens the countenance of the face, and softens hard lines etched in the face.” (Ecclesiastes 8:1)
3. Make a list and identify the things about you that you do not think are beautiful. We are not talking about the things you do but the things you are. For example, I knew that I had the ability to be harsh and argumentative. But I knew that I wanted to learn to be gentle and quiet. You cannot transform until you know what needs to be transformed.
1. Do You Think I’m Beautiful? The Question Every Woman Asks by Angela Thomas. Monica read this book several years ago and loved it so much she taught it as a study a couple times to college and young adult girls. It explores our need as women to be called beautiful, and how it’s a God-ordained need only He can fill. So awesome.
2. Beauty by the Book: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You by Nancy Stafford. How awesome does this sound? “Do you see a unique individual created in the image of Beauty itself—one chosen, Cherished, and valued in the eyes of God? If not, you may be looking in the wrong mirror—one distorted by emotional wounds, lies from your past, or the unrealistic standards of our culture.”
3. Surprising Self-Esteem Statistics. We found this fascinating.
WISHING YOU A BEAUTIFUL & BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING!