Beautiful: Part 2

When you think of beautiful, what comes to mind? A good place to start is to examine your heart and understand the truth of what it holds.  Take another look at the Dove Beauty campaign video from yesterday’s post if you dare. What went through your mind when you saw the “finished” product of the woman being fixed up for a photo shoot? Did you think the end product looked better than what she started out as? A little eye lift, slimmer neck…doesn’t hurt to tweak it a little does it?

If you are honest with yourself, you may have fallen prey to a false definition of beauty. Perhaps this is why you try on four different outfits before walking out the door or beat yourself up if you didn’t get your exercise in for the day to keep the pounds off. If we are honest with ourselves, there is sin in our hearts and we have given way to a horrible lie.

We must be honest so that we can dig deep and allow God to do a transforming work in our hearts. I Peter 3:3-4 is a good place to start: “Do not let your adorning be external- the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”  It’s clear in this text that the Christian woman should focus on the inner (hidden) beauty of the heart.  What matters to God is godly character which is characterized by a quiet and gentle spirit.  One thing that I enjoy is creativity. So, picking out outfits and accessories and being fashionable is fun and enjoyable to me.  So before you get discouraged and think fashion has to go out the door, let’s look a little closer at the text. According to the ESV Study Bible, such “external adorning” as mentioned in the passage can be witnessed in portraits and sculptures from the first century, where the elaborate braiding of women’s hair and wearing of ostentatious jewlery was common in upper-class Roman society.  I think a defining question here is not “is it ok to want to dress fashionably and wear jewlery etc.?” but rather “Is what I’m wearing bringing more attention to myself than to God who is living in me?” Or, put another way, “Does my appearance help or hinder another from seeing Christ in my life?”  Fashion and jewlery and hairdo’s are not wrong but there is a caution in not letting them distract and draw attention to ourselves when it is due to the one who created us. Beauty is a good thing when it reflects its’ maker.  Tomorrow we will discuss the practical side of how beauty can reflect the one who made it.