I just had a feeling the other day that people are just worrying and focusing too much about what they look like.
I guess this is just a casual reminder of our focus on externalities in light of eternity.
My prayer is that we may shine like Christ, to be like Christ. That is, that His power, character and attributes may rest on us.
Like in my other blog on "What Does Beauty, Working Out, And Grace Have In Common?", we are reminded that our external features are a tent, transitory and will fade.
Relying on God is important as we can have an unwavering confidence in Him who never changes.
It can be tough sometimes, I know. Especially if you're going through persecution about something or feel left out because you don't have the latest XYZ. But we must believe The Beatitudes Matthew 5:11 when Jesus says, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me".
Something special about The Beatitudes is that they are supreme blessings.
This world looks at the tangibles and the outside attires and says to us, "oh man, you're so blessed or you're so lucky!", but really, Jesus says that you are BLESSED because of Him and when anything in the Word occurs to you weather good or seemingly horrible in the moment.
Let's focus on our insides. They matter most. Like I said last time, I'm not saying neglect yourself, no, but there is a fine line in focusing your time & energy on the outside in order to be like the others than to focus on yourself to better yourself in a healthy formality. So it's not wrong to improve yourself, it's encouraged. It's about the extent of the focus, the aim and the motive of such, and if it's a higher aspect than Christ's aspects.
"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem." -Isaiah 53: 2-3
There was NOTHING beautiful about him, or handsome or ANYTHING (externally) that should have made us desire Him. What a sobering thought. I know you're thinking: "yea, but He's God..." yes, but He came down as a man, it's a sobering thought. He went through what we are going through: the pointing, the laughing, the stares, the gossip, the snares, He went through it all, so He understands what you are or might be going through.
Life can be so tough. We are measured, told we're too thin, too fat, too this, too that. I always loved quotes by Danielle La Porte. One of them is "You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge", so be yourself. Besides, I truly believe just like Paul, our "thorns" or whatever we don't like truly keeps us humble...
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
...And yet it is those very things God uses for glory! Hallelujah.
The world will try to mold us and shape us, try to make us into this person we can hardly recognise. By shaping up, OUR type of shaping up as Christians, means to go back to the Word of God and seeing what it really means to be fit, to be in tact, to be whole, to be pure and so forth. We can look at the latest magazines, sure, but that changes the next day and month - "you're in, you're out" according to them! And we can look at celebrities, but a lot of them are being PAID to wear or be that type of representative!
So what kind of representative do we need? Christ.
We are able to make clearer choices in those areas of beauty, if we start from the foundation that is most concrete and stable. At the end of the day, you want to be able to be okay with yourself.
I love you loads. Christ loves you. And I'm praying for us all :)
I encourage you to do a Bible study on what beauty means from the inside out. The Proverbs 31 woman is one example, there's Esther, Ruth who had different characteristics, and of course there is Christ. Also a study on what it means "to just be", without the "stuff". I say this again, It can be tough, there is so much going on in this fast paced life, but look at yourself in the physical mirror and declare it out loud that you are beautiful, then look at yourself in the REALEST mirror (the Word) and know that you are founded in Christ, beautiful, loved, valuable, known intimately, and so special. What's in you has more value than what the world could offer. Keep up the good work guys, I'm so rooting for you and don't give up the fight! :) x