Friday, January 14, 2011

You are Beautiful in Christ . . .

Mirror, mirror on the wall, are you REALLY sure I look okay?

What woman doesn’t ask:

Do I look good in this?
Does this outfit make me look fat?
Does my butt look big in these pants?
Is my hair okay?

Certainly you've taken a second peek in the mirror before you've left your house? Or have you gone to do a quick errand, wearing your grubs, hoping no one sees you—lest you be ostracized to the grubby hall of fame—forever? Have you ever apologized for being caught in your not-so-appealing clothes?

Why do we surmise our appearance defines us? I think it has to do with thinking what others might be thinking because we are thinking they care how we look—because after all we care!

I’ll never forget a time when my family and I visited a church; then I was considerably thinner. As we entered into the church foyer, the woman greeting us at the door scanned me from head to toe. Immediately, I felt self-conscience and wondered what was wrong. Egad was my dress on backwards, slip showing, did I put make-up on only one eye? What?

Looking back, it is silly that I allowed that moment to bother me and I found every time I was around that woman I was self-conscience. Why is our approval wrapped in our appearance? That reminds me of this verse in which the Lord spoke to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height . . . The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).

We, by nature, are attracted to the attractive. We judge our selves, even though we know better, by what we see advertised around us. Image becomes first place rather then seeing beyond the heart of someone.

Are you wondering yet what does this have to do with spiritual musing. I’ll tell you.

How We are Made Beautiful

I had an epiphany this last Sunday concerning Christian women and the status of “being beautiful” (sorry guys). Some of the songs we sang had to do with the beauty of Christ.

My first thought was this verse, which foreshadows Christ, “ . . . He [Jesus Christ] has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him,” (Isaiah 53:2; NKJV; brackets for clarification).

If Jesus “had no beauty that we should desire him (He most likely didn't have blonde hair and blue-eyes), what made him attractive? I’m glad I asked. 

If you were to describe Christ, what descriptors would you use? I’d say:

  • Kind
  • Gentle
  • Healer
  • Nurturer
  • Protector
  • Confidant
  • Peace giver
  • Wise teacher
  • A servant
  • Seeks the good of others
  • Sensitive to the needs of others
  • Loves unconditionally, at-all-times

Being that we’ve not seen Christ in person, we can only picture him through the Logos of God, reading the Bible. Through the Word we can grasp the beauty of our Savior. His love, compassion, and his desire for us to know our Father God more deeply, to reconcile us back to the heart of God, to experience the love God has for us—that is his beauty. Jesus says, “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him,” (John 14:7). His love and gentle kindness, all that he is—as the Son of God—gravitates us toward him, like bees to flowers.

God's Heart=Christ's Heart=the Holy Spirit's Heart

Women are instructed, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

I’m still looking for and developing the “hidden person of the heart,” and I hope I find her soon, as I’m tired of wrestling with my flesh to be outwardly pleasing to a standard I can’t define—and allowing a “gentle and quiet spirit” to manifest through me.

The truth, which God reminded me is that the Holy Spirit of Christ inhabits the Christian—inhabits the Christian woman. As we know, the moment one acknowledges and places faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit is given to us as a deposit—guaranteeing our salvation; therefore, because the heart of the Holy Spirit is the heart of Christ, and Christ's heart is the heart of God, we are made beautiful.

 The Beauty of the Lord

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

The transliteration of the word beauty is from the root word na`em, which is a verb. The masculine form is a noun: no`am, which means: “1) kindness, pleasantness, delightfulness, beauty, and favor,” (*See source below).

For every Christian woman, who struggles with her “outer beauty,” know that you and I have the potential for greater beauty by our conduct. Most importantly, we are already made beautiful because our Lord and Savior—who is alive within us—is all together lovely. Christ is the fragrance of life, and that life—his heart—dwells within us through his Spirit (2 Corinthians 2:16). The beauty of Christ is kindness, pleasantness, delightfulness, and favor with God.

I’ll leave you these two verses to medicate on this week:

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit,” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised,” (Proverbs 31:30).    

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
I am fairest after all,
My lover is Christ,
Who dwells in me,
He reflects his beauty
 For all to see.


* (Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for no`am (Strong's 5278)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 14 Jan 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=H5278&t=NIV >