Gathering Together

Beautified With Christ

 

 Why do we measure ourselves by the blue-eyed, blond model on the cover of Vogue? Secular media magazines and commercials promote this view of beauty and we fall for it. While we polish, pluck and rearrange the outside we forget that who we are on the inside is a choice like the dress we choose to wear. Why shouldn't we work as hard to make our Spiritual man as beautiful as the outside? What would this world come to if we all had the same idea of what beauty is? Competition and jealousy would disappear- along with the need for beauty contests! Maybe they would become less stressful and more enjoyable. Competition among women may fascinate those who profit by it, but the Father would have us be satisfied with who we are, looking beyond what we see on the outside and see the true beauty that a woman possesses. Beautify ourselves inside and out because it makes us feel good and it pleases the Lord.

 

Everything you could possibly need in order to improve your physical appearance can be found on a shelf near you.  These things do seem to improve our overall appearance, but somewhere along the beauty line it stopped being about us and became an obsession. We have rituals which make us feel more acceptable to man but more distant from ourselves. People are beautiful, people of all shapes and sizes. Tall people, small people, large people, all people are beautiful. Society has a warped view of what beauty is. We judge each other by the value society places on our physical beauty. Women perm, peel, frost, dye and liposuction to please the secular world. The media bombards us with images of the ideal woman. I had always heard that beauty was in the eyes of the beholder, and make-up changes their point of view! My mother said “beauty was only skin deep, but ugly went to the bone.” Her idea was to let me know that there is more to beauty than the outward appearance.

 

We have it backwards. Outward beauty is much less important, than the beauty that comes from the heart. For women: make-up and fancy or expensive clothes makes us feel desirable. For men it may take something else entirely, but all of us change our appearance to change the way we feel. We have been programmed to believe that we are unacceptable in our original state. Our self-image is distorted by the information absorbed through magazines, TV, family, classmates and every other form of secular media. Plastic surgeons make thousands of dollars on patients who believe they are less than perfect. The obese run to doctors to have surgery for weight loss. We are a desperate people, desperately looking for a chance to be someone else. The change we need can’t be found in a bottle or a tube. The surgeons’ scalpel can never cut deep enough to find the peace of mind we’re looking for. We look into eyes of blue only to find out that they are really brown. The beautiful blond you met and envied last week, suddenly becomes a redhead. On tv a grandmother, or televangelist looks ten years younger after her face-lift and you wonder if everyone has gone mad. The salons are packed to capacity and yet no one is satisfied. Why? It’s because we feel unacceptable. We want to be someone we are not. We are always looking for some new lotion, make-up, or anti wrinkle cream that will enhance our natural beauty and perhaps even slow the aging process. We spend millions of dollars on diet books, calorie counters and fat reducing herbs and vitamins, all to transform ourselves into the image the world has portrayed as beautiful.  Beauty parlors are busy with dying, curling, straightening, and frosting hair, not to mention the thousands of dollars spent to have the fingernails of a movie star! Plastic surgeons make a killing on face- lifts, tummy tucks, and Liposuction. A parade of lives marching through the long barrage of gimmicks and tricks created to profit by our low self-esteem. A problem created by years of seeing women portrayed as sex objects on TV and in secular magazines. We have been invaded by “the spiritual body snatchers” who have stolen the person’s identity. Remember that old movie, in which - the aliens would leave pods lying around, and who ever was closest to the pod was stolen and a lifeless drone was left in their place. True beauty is not derived from the kind of clothes we wear or where we purchased them. Women judge them selves by the world’s view of the perfect woman, and most often come up wanting. Our mindset depends on which mirror we’re looking into. Where are you looking for your reflection? My mirror had become my worst enemy. I despised the image my mirror reflected. Making an effort to improve our appearance is fine and commendable but when it becomes our only source of personal information which we base our acceptability for membership in any group or church affiliation it’s gone too far. We can become what God wants us to be one step at a time from the inside out. The makeup is good. Some of us need it more than others. The perfume is great, especially in a crowed room. Those around us will be glad we use many of the wonderful products made for women. Much of what they provide does what it says it will do! No amount of makeup can do miracles and that is when we have to accept ourselves as we are!

 

Should we lose weight – yes, if we can! Should we attempt to be the best we can, absolutely we should be the best we can! However, if these things intimidate us and keep us from singing, testifying, or just being in a group of people without fear of not being accepted, then it’s not good and we have fallen into the traps set by the enemy and secular media...... Let Jesus make you beautiful from the inside out with His presence and there won't be a reason to be ashamed.

 

Psalm 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

 

- Shirley Scurlock