Extra from Volume 10#3

by Azalea C.

The world's idea of beauty carries a completely different meaning from what God has intended.  Today, beauty is not about the positive virtues, good morals, and the strong character that God desires for us. The world's idea of beauty is all about outward appearance, but God calls His people to live a life that's set apart from the world (Romans 12:2).

We, as flesh and blood, have a strong tendency to do evil in the sight of the Lord. Our only hope to resist this temptation is in God, the One who can set us free from bondage. God's love can loose these bonds of temptation, and reach into our very souls, giving us the light and life that we could never earn without His grace.  We are weak and can't fight our battles on our own, but God will help us overcome if we completely put our trust in Him. Overcoming the desires of our hearts will give us peace and the security that God is with us no matter what we are going through. When we shun the things that are evil, we are free to focus on the commands that God's given us to purify our hearts in His sight. When our hearts are pure, we shine a radiance of beauty to all of those around us. 

Beauty starts in the heart, not on the outside.  God is not concerned about how physically pretty we are, but He is concerned with the humbleness and meekness of our hearts (Micah 6:8). If our hearts belong entirely to Him, we will be favored in the sight of God.  And, if we truly do believe that God loves us for who we are, and we value ourselves as much as our Father does, we won't desire to mask our God-given beauty.

Every one of us is a rare jewel.  We each possess certain gifts and talents that God has given us, and He expects us to use these talents in a way that will glorify Him.  One big struggle that we face is resisting pride for a certain talent that He has given us, instead of letting God have the glory. Paul sums this thought up well in 1 Corinthians 4:7, "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"  Even though it feels good to think that we are good enough to accomplish things on our own, it really isn't right. We need to show the world that God is the center of our lives. By giving Him the glory for the talents He has given us, we are showing our humbleness and gratitude to Him for all He has done in us. 

God has created each of us for a particular purpose. He made each of us unique to fulfill our role in His plan, for our lives personally, and for the lives of our future children. He molds us in our mother's wombs, then allows us to grow in Him. He has a special plan for each of our lives, a plan which cannot be frustrated by anyone if we walk in His ways. (Proverbs 16:3-4, Romans 8:28)  And that's where the true beauty lies -- walking in His ways.

Ultimately, God is in control. It is our job to serve Him; and He, in turn, protects us from danger and gives us His eternal love (Romans 8). He knew exactly what He was doing when He created us, and He doesn't like being told that He messed up. As we walk in God's ways and shun the ways of the world, we become truly beautiful in a way that the world could never comprehend.