I talk a lot about outer beauty vs. inner beauty on this blog. Today I want to talk about something different. It still is about beauty...well, at least with a stretch it is. Actions and Words.
Beautiful people speak with beautiful words. Beautiful people behave and their actions reflect their beauty. But not all the time.
Beautiful people speak beautiful words.
In my devotion last week, I wrote about how words about Dylan's scar hurt him so badly. I also wrote about how I hid my toes for 10 years because of words someone used. Sticks, stones, and words hurt. The examples I used were specific to physical beauty...outward and visible scars. God made us in His image and He knew of the physical flaws when He designed us. Scripture is plenty about how we are made and He loves us and thinks we are just precious regardless of what the world may see or think of us. I can begin to feel better about my toes and my being overweight because I know God sees beauty in me. Many beautiful people have spoken words to affirm this and I'm so grateful for them. They are speaking the truth. To believe anything different would be a lie.
Beautiful people behave and their actions reflect their beauty.
Stop. Pause. Think about this. I think I'd need to add "most of the time" to this statement. Confession time. My behavior is not beautiful all the time. Some of the time it is and I'd like to say that most of the time it is. Am I beautiful if:
I yelled at my kids
I told a lie
I betrayed someone
I was a bad friend
I hurt someone with my actions/lack of actions/words
I was rude on the phone
I was selfish
I didn't follow the rules
I didn't tame my tongue
I disrespected my husband
____________________ (fill in the blank with whatever you think of)
How can people be beautiful if they behave this way? Enter Jesus. :) The answer is "YES" we can and we are...NO MATTER WHAT (my favorite phrase)! Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone fails sometime. (some more than others...like me:) Everyone falls short of perfection, daily. Everyone has regrets, at least the beautiful people do because they recognize that their behavior could have or should have been better or different. I've found with myself, I usually do not intend to mess up. My heart doesn't want to hurt anyone, but sometimes my behavior unintentionally does. Not only does it hurt the other person, but then when realized it comes back and bites me too. And it hurts so badly. And I don't feel so beautiful then.
What can we do when our behavior does not reflect the beauty we behold within? We talk to God. We say we are sorry. We ask God to reveal how we should change if change is indeed needed. And we ask for His help.
James 1:5-8 (The Message)
5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
Jesus died for the ugly people like me. And because of that death on the cross, which was so ugly, beauty was born at the resurrection and beauty was born in us who confess and repent. Forgiveness brings beauty. We are beautiful not because of what we say or what we do, but because of what Christ did for us.
Now that gets a shout of joy from me!!!!!!!!!
I must say though, that knowing this is all true and feeling it are 2 different things. Words are my love language. They build me up and they tear me at my core. Whether they are true or not isn't always the issue. Lies hurt. Often truth does too. To allow the beauty within to shine and not fade away when words, behavior, regret take place, I have to keep my guard up, get people to pray for me and continuously look up to my Father. My eyes come off of Him and I sink just like Peter did when he attempted to walk on water but took his eyes off Christ.
In case you can't tell, I think I've messed up recently. And I'm hurting. And I'm trying to tell myself that it's not what others think it's what God thinks, and He knows my heart. He also knows I make mistakes and there is much room for improvement in this body of mine...physically and behaviorally.
Beautiful people make mistakes. Beautiful people improve and strive to get better with each passing experience.
Am I Beautiful?
I Am Beautiful...at least that's what I'll keep telling myself!