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Frankly, I’m teed off at the enemy for how he tries to convince everyone that the temporary (which can fade at any moment) is the measuring stick by which we should valued as women. Please pay attention to this message, sweet beloved. I cannot even begin to express how deep this conviction runs within me. May God alone receive the glory.
Beauty is not attained through human effort; it is given by Our Creator. All women are bearers of God’s beauty. Every single one of us. But this truth can only be revealed and fulfilled in the loving arms of Jesus. As women, if we ever look to any outside factor (such as an activity, a person, a product, or an idea) to gauge our worth, we are misplacing our trust and feelings of significance. Those outside factors are dangerous because they are inconsistent, yet in his deceitfulness the enemy always emphasizes them to us.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63
Allow me to share five reasons why emphasizing external beauty is detrimental to ourselves and to our faith:
1. Ironically, emphasizing external beauty doesn’t feed into self-confidence; it ultimately creates deep insecurity.
When we place our value and worth in any one thing, we’re shell-shocked when it’s gone. We lose who we are as a person. Everything that formerly won us praise, affection, admiration, and “self-esteem” was actually a hoax. None of it has permanence, and the enemy already knows that. But you better believe that satan’s going to do all he can to distract your mind off of this truth. If he can convince you that anything outside of Christ can give you purpose and value, then that’s exactly how he’s going to tempt you.
Don’t fall for his trap, ladies. The enemy knows that the only way that we can walk out in our God-given beauty as women is by running into the arms of Jesus. This is the only way.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
2. Emphasizing external beauty can become idol worship.
Worship belongs to God alone, and worship is defined as meditating on a thought over and over again. As women, we are created to be pursued and affirmed (roles excellently fulfilled by Jesus). If we’re constantly obsessing about how we look, thinking about what others say about how we look, and looking at ourselves ALL the time, then we’re distracted and need to refocus our hearts on God.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
3. Emphasizing external beauty is oppressive.
A woman who is driven by her outer appearance must strive to keep it up. Her identity is wrapped up in how she looks (rather than Christ), and she thrives on the flattery of others. Her physique must be maintained constantly, which is a lot of hard work. There is no freedom to just “be”. One example could be intentionally skipping a birthday party specifically to “avoid” the birthday cake out of fear of gaining an extra pound. Is that really living life to the fullest? Is there really freedom in that?
“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.” Ecclesiastes 8:15
4. Emphasizing external beauty destroys relationships.
When someone believes that looks are their most valuable asset, they will generally hold other friends (who don’t meet their standards) in contempt. Although that may seem shallow, remember that vain people believe both that they have it all together and that others simply don’t. Vanity creates an attitude of “look at me…emulate me…I am what you want to be like”. What we need to have are attitudes of “look at Christ…emulate Jesus…Jesus is what you want to be like”.
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:37
5. Emphasizing external beauty can break the bank.
Acquiring more external beauty is an expensive endeavor. It’s hard not to invest in what’s considered most important. Shopping sprees for the best clothes, shoes, jewelry, and all the other necessary items become non-negotiable. But it doesn’t stop there: liposuction, breast implants, Botox, you name it- they all offer beauty at a hefty price tag.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34
Beloved, as a woman who loves dangly earrings, sparkly sandals, shimmery nail polish, eating food from my garden, and the muscle tone produced by a good series of workouts (all beautiful things that we as women can enjoy), I know that the real secret to being beautiful is a heart that has been captivated by Jesus. A heart that understands that she is beautiful because the Lord has told her that she is.
Our hearts are entirely too valuable to be given over to anything unstable. We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts. May you be encouraged to allow only your Creator to define your beauty (that He alone gave you).
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6
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