I'm currently doing a study on Proverbs 31, and yesterday I was on verse 30, which says:
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30
I decided to look up the word 'fleeting', and it said: "lasting for a short time, short lived, quick, transitory...etc."
Looking around us, we tend to see a new "invention" for some type of beauty quick-fix, some get Botox, liposuction, etc. and wonder, "if only I could be like this". Yet, when we weigh that alongside the Bible, the Word says, physical beauty is transitory.
On the other hand, we also know that we can be confident that the Lord does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17), and that heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).
"Err....So what does this have to do with beauty" you ask?
Well, it also says that:
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands." 2 Corinthians 5:1
We will be lifted up in our heavenly bodies one day. So God won't be judging you on how well you put on your mascara, how you kept up with your earthly body, or how well you kept up appearances. He will be more concerned about how you were keeping up with yourself in the relationship with Lord Himself. Because it says that those who seek Him will find Him, it's always possible to seek Him and put your face toward Him and begin this relationship of knowing Him deeper. From there, the Spirit leads you to do the things that need to be done, and to fully be the woman you so wonderfully are created to be!
You might be saying: "well, I think it IS important to keep your body fit etc". It's true, but not in a religious way, because religion never works. I can work out because I want to look good, but never know the basis of it in the Lord. As Pastor T.D. Jakes likes to say, "religious people are of the letter of the text, but not the spirit of it'', meaning, they don't take the spiritual side of it where one isn't damned if they 'do or do not do' something that's written down, nor understand the notion of grace.
Let's take an example: So, if I worked out, and I finally "looked good"...what's next? I'd still be working to attain something else because I would've been done "looking good" in that area, and if we don't look as "good" one day we start thinking "my life is ruined!". It's not really a fun game is it? -___-
But if I work out because I know that it will give me energy to do the work I need to do, then it becomes a different story.
When I connect that with the story of grace, it TOTALLY becomes a new story, because grace becomes this thing where God allows you to be yourself. We start to know that we are nothing without Him, and yet He gives us EVERYTHING we need even though we don't deserve it!
Grace becomes a full fledged mountain that blocks all self attained effort, keeps you from puffing you up, and decreases the desire to want to achieve anything on your own. Living in grace enables us to say, "I'm not capable of doing this, but with my Abba, all things are possible." That's what grace does to you, and from there, you can work out, knowing that you are doing it for the Lord, not for others, and knowing that the Lord is showing you what to do.
I remember when I first lost some weight from the year 2010, it was a process. It was a learning process where I realized that change was first more of a shift in my mentality, than the physical body. I did have a season of my full working-out sessions, until it became my "thing-I-have-to-do", but God graciously reminded me that it wasn't going to turn into my ''go-to"!! haha!!" So I had to regroup, regroup into understanding that no matter how much I worked out, or completed a "goal" it didn't amount to my worth.
I feel like a lot of sisters are in that position right now, trying to work out to look good for other people, trying to get recognition from other people.
'Grace' knows that slip-ups will happen.
'Religion' punishes one self when they don't wake up early to go to the gym or run, or if they ate what they said they wouldn't, and it goes on and on about it. Grace says, "it's okay, repent if needed, and move on, there is always another chance."
I remember when I went through a rough season last summer. The season I told you about where I was working hard! LOL! Well, one of the weeks, I had finished writing in my journal and decided to go buy a new one. As I opened to write in the new journal that morning, the Lord spoke to me, and said: "mercy has no end." I remember I was just in awe at the fact that He had said that. Don't you just long for moments of breathing out and saying: 'ah..praise God, I can relax now, I don't need to succumb to the pressure anymore!"? Even though I was at a rough stage and that season seemed unpleasant, God showed me that He was still there. He is was always willing to give us chance after chance.
He shows His mercy, and it is limitless. Same with His love, His grace, it has no limit. Because of it, we can say, "okay, if GOD permits, today I will do x,y,z. or I will be x,y and z." It's about humbling ourselves, whilst realizing that we can also ask for wisdom so we won't be led astray. It is also knowing that this given wisdom isn't in itself our final destination, but that it's about the Giver who has assured us that His grace is sufficient enough, and that His power is made perfect in weakness.
So ladies, what does this have to do with beauty?
Well, being beautiful means you lay yourself to the Lord, and you give Him your heart, so He can change it. Being beautiful is to understand that this world is not perfect, but God, who designed you, can tell you just how uniquely perfect you are.
Being beautiful is to choose to listen to God's definition of beauty, not ours, or the worlds.
Being beautiful is to spend time with God so we can know these things, so He can smile and shine upon our face. It is to know that it is better to be fully clothed in a spiritual armor as opposed to a worldly, transitory 'amour' that fades away day by day.
Being beautiful, is putting our hope in God, no matter what :) we can only do that, if we spend time with Him :)
So what does beauty, working out, and grace have in common?
It's having Jesus at the centre of it all.