It is often said, “beauty is only skin deep”. How you look on the outside is less valuable than who you are on the inside. But is this true? It’s hard to tell with all the magazines and television shows that have men and women with the “perfect” weight, “perfect” eye color, “perfect” hairstyle, “perfect” everything. How do we know that it’s alright not to look flawless? That being beautiful isn’t all about how you look? There aren’t many magazines, movies, or books that tell us “You are loved” or, “you don’t need better clothes to be a better person.
Oh wait, there is! There is a book that says things like this. Its called the Bible. And the one who wrote it has some pretty important things to say about being beautiful. I will be presenting those things to you. His word against the world.
First off, beauty comes from more than just outward appearance.
It’s important to know what beauty is and where it comes from so that you will not be persuaded into thinking that it is what the world portrays it to be. When you know what beauty is, this knowledge can also help you to distinguish those who are truly beautiful inside and out, from those who only pretend they are on the outside. According to the Bible, beauty is inward purity that comes from love and obedience to God, and this inward beauty becomes visible on the outside.
To really know what and where beauty is and comes from, you need to know something about God.
Let me tell you about Him. In the beginning, God created the world. Everything was perfect and He said it was good. Then He created mankind and breathed God’s spirit into him and said it was very good (New International Version, Gen. 1.1-31). Everything was great. But then man sinned and everything was not perfect anymore. God sacrificed some animals instead of killing the people (Gen. 3.1-21). A couple of thousand years later God sent his son who is perfect he died and rose again. This way, the world would not have to die but instead be saved through the Son (John. 3.16).
Through the Bible, we know that we are not perfect and our beauty comes from God. Since He created us, he put his beauty inside us. When we put our trust in him, we start to become more like him, and his beautifulness is ours. 2 Cor. 3:18 states, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
The world says our beauty is all about how we look. There are many magazines about how your body is supposed to look and the way you are supposed to act in society. According to them, if you don’t do these things then you must not be beautiful. I feel this mostly applies to girls and women. I know if I called my brother’s beautiful they would get upset.
Many girls think their worth depends on how “beautiful” they are by the world’s standards. When they do not get it right, when they try to be perfect and they fail, they feel they are worthless. People like to judge each other. When they see that someone is different, no matter how much he or she may try to hide it, they get judged, ridiculed, and rejected. However, 1 Pet. 3:3-4 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
When we try to follow the world’s guidelines for beauty, we fail and end up feeling miserable and rejected. It is when we realize that beauty is not what’s on our faces, but what God puts in our hearts then we start to understand how beautiful we can be.
Once we know where beauty comes from, we can start learning how to be beautiful. Since beauty is not only on the outside it must first start on the inside. In 1 Sam. 16:7, when God wanted His prophet, Samuel, to anoint the next King of Israel, God said this, “… Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” According to His Word, these are the attributes we should have in our hearts, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5.22-23a).
When we are kind to others, we feel good inside. This is a type of beauty more important to God than the clothes we wear (1 Pet. 3.4).
Doing good “just because” is not enough. We may do things we think are good, but with the wrong motives behind it. Our motivation to do good must come from our love for God and for others. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10.31).
We cannot be beautiful without God. Our obedience to him shows true beauty.
Well, now you know a bit more about beauty. You know the world’s point of view: beauty is what you wear and how you look and people will judge you if you look different; This gives the impression of being shallow and fickle. You also know God’s view: Beauty comes from our heart once we trust in him. He helps us love ourselves as well as others and be different than the world. This doesn’t mean we can’t dress nice or wear makeup or have nice things. It means that there is more to being beautiful than just those things. I’ve informed you of two ways to see beauty. You choose which one you think is better.