Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Beauty of Beauty

The Lord is gracious and compassionate;
slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8

Yesterday morning, I was working on my latest Bible study that I'm completely in to, What is Love. Kelly Minter carefully pulls apart each of the verses in 1,2 and 3 John. I would dare to say these small books get quickly overlooked; however, they hold so much truth and beauty of the gospel within each verse. This particular day was about testing the spirits, as found in verses one through six of chapter 4. This is where I pick up today's blog post.

Our world defines beauty in a crazy way, and unfortunately most women have been unable to escape these beauty standards. I am one of them. There are areas we want to be thinner. Areas we want larger. Areas we want gone. Hair that looks different and curls just the right way. In verse 5, John says "They [false spirits] are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them." I realize John is clearly talking about the gospel and the spirits who are misrepresenting the gospel. Yet, the truth of the gospel lies at the heart of this very point. Because of God's love for us, He chose to rescue and redeem us. Therefore, we are beautiful to Him.

As I was working through the study yesterday morning, I realized something HUGE and significant. I mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but I am thankful the Holy Spirit gently showed me this area of my life. I have such a hard time accepting compliments. I base my standards of beauty on the size 0 women who are found in our magazines and movies as models and actresses. We easily notice the area where we fall short, don't we? The Lord showed me that my distorted view of beauty has been based on the world's standards. Junior high. High school. College. Now. All of those years, I have looked to the world's way of defining beauty and perfection. By the world's standards... I'm clearly not perfect. 

Yet as a new creation in Christ, we are not to look to the world to define our standards. We are to look to Him to give us guidance as to how to live in this world and define our lives. I put the verse at the top of the page because I was reminded as I began writing this blog how thankful I am that God is gracious and slow to anger. These many, many years of defining beauty by the world or being frustrated by my appearance or wishing I'd just lose a few more pounds were in need of His great abundant grace. 

Beauty is defined by the creator. Our Creator has declared us beautiful. He makes all things perfect.

And an added bonus.. This little blog post: http://reformedreader.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/a-god-centered-view-of-self-self-image-in-light-of-the-gospel/

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