4

The Best-kept Beauty Secret

The world says the secrets to beauty are in diet pills, tanning booths, breast augmentations, wrinkle creams, and liposuction.  We, of course, know this is untrue, but a lot of times as women {even christian women}, although we know this in our heads, we allow ourselves to be deceived by the lies of the world and Satan. Satan is bombarding us with the lie that we are simply not good enough. Whether “not good enough” means, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not funny enough. Whatever it might be, Satan wants us to believe that we are not good enough to be loved.

Where can we as women take our definition of beauty from?

1. Media– tv, magazines, internet, etc.
2. Friends– there are always prettier, skinnier, funnier, lovelier girls.
3. Men– our fathers, or boyfriends, or husbands. We can take our definitions from these men. Whether they are good or bad, girls, if we take our definitions from them, we will be an emotional mess. If they are nice to us, we feel good and worthy; but, when they treat us badly, it can have devastating results. So many women give themselves away to men expecting love in return, and then the men turn around and leave and the women are left with nothing.

4. Ourselves– pressure to be perfect, do things always right, so we can measure up. How many have thought, “I’m such an idiot.. or a loser.. or an outsider?” We all have.

5. OR we can take our definitions from the positive aspects in you life. See, the world ascribes MORE value if you are beautiful and have a perfect body, but, ladies, it is just as evil and misguided for you to be defined by, “I’m pretty, I’m smart. I’m wealthy…” as it is to be defined by the opposite. Not that is evil to BE those things, we all want to be our best selves, but it IS wrong for these things to define you.

So how can we change this deceptive perception?

We have to throw off the definitions of the world. God never meant for us to sit at home and feel horrible about ourselves. He also never meant for us to place our worth is a hollow propped up sense of worthiness. Remember it is just as incorrect for your definition to be, “I am pretty or smart.” as it is for it to say, “I am ugly and unworthy of love.”

Let’s talk about the “Inner Beauty” myth.

Despite the impossible standard of beauty coming from the world, the world constantly tells us that, “Your real beauty comes from within. Just learn to love yourself the way you are. Then, you can love others. Look deep inside you for your own special and unique beauty.”

Well, today I’m going to tell you that they are wrong.

Because not only do we have to remember that we are not what the world tells us, but let’s really remember that we are nothing without Christ. We do not possess anything beautiful or worth in and of ourselves. You might be thinking, “That’s a little harsh.” Yes, but it is the truth.

Any thing we can muster up within ourselves is propped up and hollow. We can not look within ourselves for our beauty and strength we must look to Jesus.

In Ezekiel 16, God is speaking to the nation of Israel but also each of us as individuals.

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. Ezekiel 16:1-5

The Bible makes it very clear we are born into Sin, not beauty. We are born into ugliness and thrown out into an open field in filth and blood- the blood of shame and guilt-and deserving of death. As a result of sin, the essence of beauty we were originally supposed to be born with is warped and twisted. Our womanly souls are no longer beautiful, but warped and ugly, and deformed.

And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God. Ezekiel 16:6-14

He gave us a major makeover, My Fair Lady style, and handed to us a beauty that is NOT our own at all. There we were lying naked in our own blood and shame, and Jesus called us to life. Against all reason and comprehension, Christ had compassion on us. Not because we were attractive to him or beautiful, but because HE is unbelievable beautiful love. While we were yet sinners, He rescued us, and made us His own, and gave us hope and worth and beauty, because we now belong to Him.

Everything good about us is from the hands of Christ. Jesus Christ is so beautiful, and when we find our identity in Him alone, we are defined with HIS beauty. What an special special honor and privilege to leave a mark of Christ’s beauty on this world.

Charles Spurgeon said it perfectly, “If a soul has any beauty, it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us.”

I am not special because of me– who I am, what I look like, my personality, or my performance in my job, school, or sports, my ministry or something deep inside myself that is beautiful or unique or lovely; BUT I am special because of Jesus– because of all the wonderful things that HE is, and because He lives inside of me and has complete control of my heart, and He has clothed me in His beauty to showcase to the world.

The world says embrace your beauty. The Bible says lay it aside. The world says those who are alive to themselves are beautiful, the Bible says those who are dead to themselves are truly beautiful.

Ian Thomas, “The Christian life can be explained ONLY in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you- your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything- then although you maybe have the Christian life, you are not yet living it.”

We are not called to showcase our own “special unique” beauty to the world because really without God we have none. We are called to point people to Jesus Christ. We are called to showcase HIS stunning and captivating beauty. Isn’t that the whole point of the gospel message?

For whosever shall lose His life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24–25

As christian women we are so concerned with ourselves so many times. It is all about “me” and how “I feel.” We think, “Well.. enough about what the world thinks about me and what I think of me…what does God say about me??”

Do you want to know what God says?

God says, “Give it up!! Its not about you at all! It’s about Me and MY glory. NOT YOURS. You are supposed to die to yourself and be alive unto ME.”

There is a thread of history, and on this huge long timeline, there is a Main Character and it is NOT you or I. We are nothing more than a speck, and 50 years or a 100 years or 1,000 years down the road, it is not going to matter how you FEEL about yourself today.

Only what we do to impact eternity for Christ and the gospel.. THAT matters. We are not called and sanctified and set apart by God so that we can “feel good about ourselves.” We are called to be warriors for Christ. We are called to be his hands and feet in a world and a generation that desperately needs HIM. We are called to be Proverbs 31 women. Women who bravely carry out the beauty of the gospel. Women who are so busy doing God’s work and shining God’s light they do not have time to sit at home and fret about themselves.

Of course we are lovely, beautiful, confident daughters of God, but how do we become those things? Not by telling ourselves how special we are every day, not by mustering up something in ourselves, but by focusing on Christ and HIS beauty and working towards His glory.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24

We can not be focused on ourselves and make an impact on eternity for the gospel.

Think of all the women down through history who have made an impact on the world for Christ. It was NOT because they “loved themselves.” They changed their world because they really didn’t think of themselves at all!! The gave up themselves and were consumed with Christ.

Amy Carmichael once wrote about her frustrating search for set-apart women to join her in her ministry of rescuing Indian Children from being sold into prostitution. “I wrote to all the pastors in the region, asking if they had any women wholly devoted to our Lord and separate in spirit from the world who were likely to be free for this work.” The pastors replied, “Not only have we NO women like this, but we do not know of even one woman of the kind you want.”

Sadly, girls, this is true. “Christian” women are everywhere, but to find a woman who is wholly devoted to Christ and separated from the world is very very rare. So many women go to church and claim to have a relationship with God, and even maybe do serve in the church somehow; yet, have selfish, sinful, self or world-loving natures. It is so much easier to build our lives around worldly applause and selfish pleasure and fit Christ in somewhere than to radically pour out our lives in sacrificial devotion to Him.

“What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.” Amy Carmichael

True and real and soul-deep beauty is found through absolute abandonment to the Author of all beauty. The real “beauty secret” is found by exchanging a life consumed with self {negatively OR positively} for a life consumed with Jesus Christ, by trading the desire to be attractive to those around us for the longing to be attractive to Jesus Christ alone.