The secret to unfading beauty
What can you put on that will guarantee to make you beautiful?
“Hey mom, can I buy this mascara?”
“Can I get this lip gloss? I’ll use my own money. Pleeeease?”
“Will you ever let me wear makeup?
When I was thirteen, these were the questions I pestered my mother with constantly. After reading teen magazines, I was convinced that makeup was what I needed to be beautiful. Just a little mascara, a bit of blush, and a dab of lip gloss and I would be able to look like the models on the glossy pages I read over and over. A few cosmetics were all I needed to make everyone at school like me—to make me like me.
Plenty of products
Judging by the thousands of beauty products available, I’m not the only one who has ever had those thoughts. During a quick trip to the drug store today, I stopped to browse in the makeup aisle. I was astounded by the number of mascaras available for sale. Under the Maybelline sign alone I counted twelve different colorful tubes of the stuff. Almay had five. Cover Girl had thirteen. In all, I found 73 unique products guaranteed to enhance my eyelashes!
That doesn’t even take into account all of the other items offered in the cosmetic aisle. We can buy products to make our cheeks appear rosier, our eyebrows darker, and our lips shinier. Thousands of choices are available to buff up our appearance—our physical beauty.
True beauty is inside
When I looked up and down all the aisles of the store, I couldn’t find any products to help me enhance my inner beauty. I didn’t see any gels or lotions to help me develop a beautiful heart. Which is sad, because that’s the kind of beauty God wants us to have.
In the book of 1 Peter, He tells us:
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. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV 1984)
Now I don’t think that Peter was telling these women that it was wrong to fix their hair or wear cute clothes. He isn’t saying we shouldn’t wear makeup or put on a necklace. I think he was telling them, telling us, that the latest hairstyle or the trendiest wardrobe isn’t what makes a girl lovely. True beauty comes from inside.
God tells us that instead of 73 tubes of mascara, instead of hundreds of cosmetics, there is only one thing we need to be truly beautiful: a gentle and quiet spirit.
What does a gentle and quiet spirit look like?
You’ll be relieved to know that a gentle spirit doesn’t mean being a timid, pathetic person. A quiet spirit doesn’t mean we have to sit in a corner all day never talking to our friends.
The word used for gentle in 1 Peter 3 means having a graceful soul. If we could buy a jar of cream that could give a gentle spirit, it would enable us to accept what God is doing in our lives. It would help us to trust that God knows what He is doing, even when we can’t make any sense out of it at all.
The word quiet in this passage describes a peaceful heart that is not upset by chaotic circumstances. A bottle of this kind of quiet gives a tranquility that isn’t dependent on having a perfect day. It’s like the one person who manages to remain calm and clean during a cafeteria food fight.
Where will you find true beauty?
Although there aren’t any products available in the cosmetics aisle to give us a gentle and quiet heart we don’t have to lose hope. God is more than willing to give us the grace we need to be able to hold His hand in trust when we start to question what’s happening in our lives. He gives us His Spirit to quiet down our chaotic hearts.
I think our heavenly Father seriously wonders why we expect bottles of liquids and tubes of gels to give us worth and beauty. Because He has already done that.
God has made us beautiful.
About the author: Sharla Fritz is the author of Divine Makeover: God Makes You Beautiful, a new book for teens and young women designed to help them discover their beauty in Christ. Find out more at www.sharlafritz.com.