Something worth sharing....
"Women are their own worst beauty critics," Dove says. "Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful...we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see."
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
How do we define beauty...
: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing
that gives pleasure to the senses or
pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness
: a particularly graceful, ornamental or excellent quality
Beauty is such a difficult word to define. We all have different perceptions of what is beautiful. Sure, the pop culture version of physical beauty is splashed all over TV, magazines, and the internet, but then most people would refer to another beauty that stems from a person's character and spirit, rather than physical appearance. Unfortunately, women feel tremendous pressure to present themselves as physically attractive and focus so much time, energy and money on their outward appearance. I am just as guilty of this as the next woman.
Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror - Pamela Anderson
While I disagree with Pamela Anderson's thoughts on natural beauty, I can't help but feel convicted by the amount of time that I spend thinking about the way I look and how others perceive me based on my appearance. When I stop and reflect on why I am concerned with my appearance it usually comes back to desiring the approval of others. What's ironic is that I feel ugly just confessing that sinful motivation. Focusing on outward appearance and "put-togetherness" as I like to call it, can be a huge distraction from true beauty that comes from knowing God and reflecting his character. My first and foremost concern should be God's approval...not something I have to earn, but something I can rest in knowing that he loves and accepts me as I am, and is constantly calling and enabling me to a higher standard of living and character that ultimately reflects his love and beauty...a beauty of the spirit that is much more attractive than any dress, hairstyle or body.
"Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair
and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-
but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God's sight is very precious." - 1 Peter 3:3-4
The "hidden person of the heart" is imperishable and worth focusing my time and energy on. When I think of the reasons I want someone to be attracted to me, it isn't my outward beauty, but my character and desire to love and serve God and others. These past few months I've been intentionally meditating on scripture to help align my attention and desires regarding beauty and character with God's Word.
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
-2 Cor 4:16
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come."
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, the but the Lord looks on the heart.'"
-1 Sam 16:7
Lord, help me to see myself and others as you see us...you look on the heart, not on our outward appearance. I don't want to be distracted by the idol of performance and approval of others, help me to focus on you and the inward transformation that comes from knowing and obeying your word. Cultivate within me an inner beauty that radiates your character...your generosity, peace, patience, love and humility.