True Beauty

True Beauty

I want to talk about something that gets mentioned quite frequently among women: beauty. I know that many people out in the world today will say this and mean something completely different than what I think the Bible means by true beauty.

They’ll say that it doesn’t matter what you look like, all people are beautiful.
They’ll say you should love the skin you’re in.
They’ll say not to let anyone else tell us how to define beauty.
They’ll remind us that, no matter what, we are worthy of the term beauty.

I disagree.

Before you start thinking I’m here to tell you aren’t beautiful, let me say that that is definitely not what I’m saying. In fact, what I’ll talk about has little to do with outward beauty and everything to do with who we are inside.

Today’s standards define beauty in a myriad of ways. There is the fashion culture that says beauty really is skin deep. They place high value on sizes, looks, and what the eye will judge to be beautiful. Then there are those who would champion that everyone is beautiful because of what’s inside. They would say that what makes us unique is what makes us beautiful. That almost sounds right. Yeah, we start to think, I’m beautiful because I’m unique. Then there’s another crowd who will say that beauty doesn’t even matter and will throw the term away as if it has no meaning at all.

I want to look at these three ideas and explain why I think they are flawed.

True Beauty by Emilie Hendryx | Putting on the NewBeauty is…the skin you’re in

This thought about beauty is likely one of the easiest to dispel. We see opposition to this on many sides with emphasis put on the fact that you don’t need to be a certain size, wear a certain brand, or look a certain way to be “beautiful”. It’s still an issue though because a certain “look” or “style” will always be upheld by the fashion industry and visible on all kinds of media. People will try to convince you that what you look like determines if you’re beautiful or not–they are wrong.

Beauty is…your personality

Who we are inside is definitely part of the equation to what makes us beautiful, but can that be the only thing if who we are on the inside also makes us ugly? I’m talking about sin here (something we don’t like to talk about openly a lot of the time). Our natural posture is to be opposed to God. We were born into sin (Psalm 51:5, Rom. 5:12, Eph. 2:3) and with that our “natural personality” is tainted. We may be funny, happy, kind, sweet, caring–you name it–but that doesn’t make us immune to sin or its affects on us. The evil nature of sin will cloud our personality at times, which is why I don’t think we can all be beautiful only on the basis of who we are “inside”.

True Beauty by Emilie Hendryx | Putting on the NewBeauty is…irrelevant

I also don’t think we can make a case for this. God created us in His image (Gen. 1:27) and therefore there is something about us that is beautiful, because God is beautiful. Like I pointed out above, our sinful nature taints that beauty, but it doesn’t negate the fact that there is beauty in this world.

To make the case that beauty doesn’t matter is to take something away from the Lord. I think of the passage where he compares the beauty of the lilies of the field to all of the riches of Solomon’s wealth–and he was a really really rich guy who could buy the most beautiful things (Matt. 6:28). Or when it says in Psalm 19:1 that the “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”. Just go outside at night (where you can see the stars) and see if you aren’t amazed. That’s God’s beauty.

Beauty is given by God

In order to truly understand beauty, we have to understand where it comes from. We are beautiful only because of God’s beauty in us. Anything good that shines through in our personality is due to His handiwork. The reason this is so important to understand is because, if beauty and being beautiful dependent on us, then there will be moments (minutes, hours, days?) where we will feel ugly and there will be no truth that can convince us otherwise.

But there is hope! The Lord reminds us not to place stock in outward beauty (Prov. 31:30) and tells us that true beauty comes from a heart devoted to Him (1 Peter 3:4). He is the one who created beauty and He is also the one that bestows it on us–His children.

Do you hear this? Does your heart resonate with this truth? There isn’t anything that you can do to be beautiful (inside or out) because it is dependent on Him. It always has been. That truth may, at first, sound frightening, especially to those of us who enjoy controlling things 😉 But, in reality, it’s a gift. God has made us beautiful and He will continue to grow that beauty in us when our hearts are focused on him.

This type of beauty surpasses our human understanding. It reaches past the skin and into the core of our being. This type of beauty is God-breathed with the essence of the Spirit and resonates inside of His children. This beauty…is given by God.

Have you ever struggled to feel truly beautiful?

 

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Emilie Hendryx About Emilie Hendryx

Emilie is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Dayton, Ohio. She’s a member of ACFW and writes Young Adult fiction. In her spare time, you can find her designing fun bookish items for her Etsy and Society6 shops all while drinking too much coffee.
Visit Thinking Thoughts blog: click here
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Comments

  1. Have I ever struggled? Almost every day. I don’t think I’ve ever felt true “beauty” but I LOVE how you have offered us a different way of looking at it. Dependent on Him and through His definition. Perfect!

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  2. Fantastic post, Emilie. Beauty truly is a spiritual struggle. Every time I accept my outward appearance for what it is, something displaces the contetment. Then the inward beauty is disrupted too. I agree true beauty is Spirit breathed. That’s the only way it could be.

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  3. Loved this post! I’ve met people where I thought, “wow, she’s glowing.” Once I get to know them, I realize it’s God’s work in their life that makes them shine so. We should all work for that type of beauty. I’ll definitely remember this post when I want to squeeze my eyes shut in front of the mirror.

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  4. Thanks for your honesty Cherie! I love that we CAN all be truly beautiful and KNOW it because of the definition of what beauty is in Him <3

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  5. Amen Penny! It is difficult, and yet God is so gracious to help us, equip us, and encourage us through His word, prayer, and friends and loved ones.

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  6. Oh yes – I have definitely met those people too! Know that you are in good company and we can remind one another that we ARE beautiful in Him! 🙂

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  7. Great post! Love your ideas on this. Definitely resonated with me and how I view beauty. Thank you!

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  8. Hi Emilie. It’s funny how so many in society chase after beauty, whether it be outside or inside beauty, when what we should all be seeking is the beauty we find in knowing the Lord. You express this so well in your post. Thanks for sharing!

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