Friday, February 8, 2013

What Makes Us Beautiful

"The most beautiful sight of all, is to see Jesus, shining through the soul of another...."

I don't care what any of you people say, Jessica Alba is gorgeous, and if I were standing next to her, I would hide my face or make sure I was wearing a butt load of mascara! There, I said it. I acknowledged to the world that I am one of those "normal" girls who watches movies and immediately compares myself to the airbrushed goddesses of the cinema screen. Sigh, if only I didn't care so much... Life would be easier... No really, it would be.

Sometimes I feel as if I typify the verse that points out that man looks on the outside, but Jesus looks at our hearts. I constantly find myself looking at people, thinking how outwardly beautiful they are. The world around us, exemplifies and even encourages this behavior  Everything is about how good we look. How appealing we are, and how attractive we are to other people. In truth, it is just a basic human trait. We want to be liked, accepted, desired, revered and approved. We want to be the envy of those around us, and we want to be on top. Now, I am better than I used to be, but I still catch myself paying attention to the outward before I pay attention to anything else.

This is normal for us. But, it is not normal for... HIM.

And that is why I believe He looks at the inside so much. He wants to see if there is room inside for Him.... Because when we are all wrapped up in ourselves, there isn't any room for Him to camp out and shine through. Because my friends, like it or not, that is what true beauty really is, it is about how brightly and dazzling He is allowed to shine through us.

Without using names, I want to tell you about one of the most beautiful people I know. I want to paint a picture of what beauty is really all about. Beauty is from within. I know that sounds like the queen of all cliches, but it is a well known phrase for a reason.

At 19, I was a normal college sophomore  I liked staring at cute boys, curling my hair and singing like I was the next Mariah Carey in the shower. Except, where I went to school, you couldn't say it was Mariah Carey, you had to say that it was, um.... someone you heard on a Pepsi commercial, but you didn't know what the name was... (wink wink)

I was bubbly and social, yet insecure and filled with self doubt. I felt so out of place. Like I didn't belong, and I didn't know where I fit into the big picture. Then Jesus shined through to me...

I was sitting in class one morning, and I saw it. I saw the Jesus Shine. And let me tell you, if you have never seen someone glow with the love of Jesus, then you are missing out my friend. Either get yourself some new friends, or OPEN YOUR EYES! 

This person was overflowing with brightness and joy, and it was magnetic. Most amazing factor of all - they were completely unaware of it. They still are to some degree. That is the most perfect picture of Jesus shining through with beauty and light. A picture of someone who is so focused on HIM, that they are completely unaware of how HE looks as HE pours out of them.

This person is truly beautiful inside AND outside. Another awesome thing about Jesus, when He fills our insides, He makes the outside beautiful as well. Now, does that mean that we are all going to turn into supermodels? Um, no.... thank God (literally). It just means that we are beautiful in HIS eyes, and other people will see that beauty. It is not a beauty that is measured by the world, but it is a beauty that the world cannot ignore.

My friend taught me much about the superfluousness of outward beauty. That saying, "pretty is, as pretty does"? Yeah, outward beauty had no bearing on how this person chose friends. In fact, they saw clean through it, while I was at times intimidated by it.They chose people who magnified Jesus, humbly and not for show.

My friend showed me by their actions that true beauty is magnetic, inviting and accepting. True beauty does not push apart, does not divide and does not find others wanting. True beauty draws people, beckons and loves. That is why true beauty is Jesus. Jesus is all of those things to us.

One more thing, as you move forward and look for beauty differently (at least I pray that is what you take away from this), remember one thing... Oftentimes, the most beautiful people are the ones who have endured the most pain.

Why is this you ask? Pain has a way of emptying your soul of everything. Tears and sorrow are like a mighty river that gathers up everything in its way and moves it on out. And when we are completely gutted and emptied, it is then that the precious Living Water can fill us back up. For once the ugly has been pushed out, the beauty of Christ begins to show.

Who are the beautiful people in your life? The people that you look at, think about, gravitate towards - not because of their clothes, shoes, charm or personality - but because the Holy Spirit in them, is speaking to the Holy Spirit in you. I purposefully didn't name my friend, because, I want each of us to have our own picture. I don't want you thinking about the same person I am. I want Jesus to once again, shine the light on the people He has placed in your life. Acknowledge their beauty for the true reflection of God's exquisite creation. 

Man was the highlight of God's creation, not because of us, but because of the image in whom we were made. And when we forget that, and try to forge our own definition of beauty, we are defeating the initial purpose. We were made in HIS image. We were made to let HIM shine through us. When we do, it is then that the world can have a glimpse of true beauty. His beauty...

Look for His beauty in others, and as you do, let Him empty you, so that He can shine through you as well...

So think about "What Makes You Beautiful"..... Jesus:)