"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 have had an image problem every since grade school. It started when I got glasses in 5th grade. Other girls had prettier clothes, curly hair, and straighter teeth. Most of my clothes were handed down to me from my sister who was 17 months older than me. My hair was straight and my teeth were crooked.
My mom always tried her best, though, to focus on what was on the inside but still, the world tried to draw me to only what was on the outside (my appearance).
Two of my mom's favorite sayings were 1)"Beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes all the way to the bone" (meaning, just because someone might look nice they could be mean and cruel and that is what leaves a lasting impression with people, not the fact that they looked pretty on the outside) and 2)"Pretty is as pretty does" (that was usually followed up with--and because you just did that, you aren't so pretty right now).
As a mom, I have wanted to instill in my children how precious and beautiful they are. They have all heard the 1 Peter 3:3-4 verses shared above but I try at every opportunity to show them what that actually looks like in the world (even for my boys).
Recently, my daughter's basketball team had a series of basketball games they played in order to compete at the trophy level. All season, their coaches had taught them important skills to play a fair and great game of basketball as a team. In their most recent games, they truly displayed what Peter called "the unfading beauty of a gently and quiet spirit". They played well, they played fair, they knew they were to submit to their authority (coaches and referees), and I truly saw all 13 of them display true beauty.
Yes, it was difficulty when the other team broke the tie and won within the last 20 seconds of the game. The other team along with their coaches had not displayed the same fairness in play and submission to authority BUT I was so proud of how my daughter's team responded. (Not saying there weren't a few tears.) After the game, I game each girl a hug and whispered in her ear how proud I was of her.
We must all answer to a higher authority one day. What is on the inside needs to be the most important thing in our lives. We may look good on the outside but how do we respond to pressure, unfair treatment, stress... Others are watching us to see how we handle things.
Pretty is as pretty does!!! Would others be able to see that on the inside, you are truly a beautiful person by how you interact with others, encourage a friend who is struggling,...?
I want to challenge you to do some self-reflection. True beauty starts on the inside and should ooze out. Are you oozing with beauty?