“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NLT)
Beauty is defined by God
Beauty as defined by the dictionary is a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense. I always tell my friends that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. To me, everybody is beautiful. It depends on how you see your self in the mirror. Yes, you may be fat or skinny, tall or short, and you feel that’s enough reason for you to be ugly. Sorry to disappoint you, but that is wrong. Everybody is beautiful.
Genesis 1:31, says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” God saw you and you were good. So why, then, would you look at your self and feel that you are ugly, when the owner and creator of heaven and earth created you and called you good? We can also see in Genesis 1:26-27, “And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.” Wow. Do you know what that means? It means when you look at yourself at the mirror, you see the image of God being reflected back at you. Yet you feel you are ugly. You are more beautiful than you know.
Focusing on Inner Beauty
Looking to the Bible, beauty is focused on inner beauty. Proverbs 6:25 says “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.” Another perspective on beauty which can be found in the Bible is found in 1 Peter. Here, in 1 Peter 3:3, it says “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.” These two verses could be interpreted as saying that physical looks do not matter. Moreover beauty is culturally determined, in some cultures a large body shape is considered very beautiful.
After reading these verses, I feel as though the point is that we shouldn’t focus on physical appearance for beauty. Beauty can be found from within. If you are blessed with good looks, you shouldn’t be ashamed. Yet, you shouldn’t think your beauty only comes from your looks. For those who may not be as genetically blessed as others, you shouldn’t despair. Beauty comes from within, as well as the outside. It’s just two different opinions on beauty. Just as the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” What is beautiful in your eyes?
Not only does inner beauty hold more value to God, but inner beauty doesn’t fade with age. We obsess over how clear our skin is, but one day our faces will be lined and wrinkled. We work hard at having the perfect hair, but one day it will be grey and wiry. But the hope of heaven that we have in Jesus means that beauty coming from a gentle and quiet spirit is a beauty of eternal significance, which doesn’t fade.
So, whenever you spend time on your physical appearance, why not commit to a parallel effort to enhance your inner beauty? Perhaps next time you read a chapter in a fashion or fitness magazine, you could then read a chapter from the Bible or a Christian book. Or, after you have finished your morning “beauty routine”, spend some time praying, addressing some inner blemishes or flaws. And every morning when you look in the mirror to check your outward appearance, do a “soul check”. Scrutinize what’s on your conscience, what’s in your heart. Then decide what the focus of your day will be: the hair and the skin, or the person within?
Yes, that’s what will make you beautiful.