Where is beauty found?
One Direction are right! When it comes to beauty, many of us feel “insecure”. And the lads have got it right in saying that beauty is more than skin deep, that you “don't need make up to cover up”. At this point One Direction are heading in the right... direction. But then I start to get confused when the guys say "The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed'". Is that also what makes someone beautiful?
But what happens if you lose your hair? And am I allowed to smile anywhere else besides the ground?
Our world is full of mixed messages about beauty, what it is and how we can get it. Beauty has become a valuable commodity and we will try anything to become more beautiful.
God's definition of beauty
So what really makes you beautiful?
God has a surprising answer in 1 Peter 3:3-6
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
According to God, what makes you beautiful is the “inner self”, a “gentle and quiet spirit” (v.4-5). In God’s sight, inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. The way to really “light up the world” is not by flipping your hair or smiling at the ground, but by developing your inner self.
Inner beauty lasts longer
Not only does inner beauty hold more value to God, but inner beauty doesn’t fade with age. We obsess over how clear our skin is, but one day our faces will be lined and wrinkled. We work hard at having the perfect hair, but one day it will be grey and wiry. But the hope of heaven that we have in Jesus means that beauty coming from a gentle and quiet spirit is a beauty of eternal significance, which doesn’t fade.
So, whenever you spend time on your physical appearance, why not commit to a parallel effort to enhance your inner beauty? Perhaps next time you read a chapter in a fashion or fitness magazine, you could then read a chapter from the Bible or a Christian book. Or, after you have finished your morning “beauty routine”, spend some time praying, addressing some inner blemishes or flaws. And every morning when you look in the mirror to check your outward appearance, do a “soul check”. Scrutinize what’s on your conscience, what’s in your heart. Then decide what the focus of your day will be: the hair and the skin, or the person within?
Yes, that’s what will make you beautiful.