Putting on make-up takes ten minutes, but developing inward beauty takes years. It's easy to cover up an outward blemish, but it's hard to cover up what's on the inside. People try. All the time. But, ultimately, what's in you shines out of you.
So what's shining out of us? When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Not what do you see, but who? When is the last time you actually stopped to think about it?
Too often we focus on how to better the outward appearance with little thought about how to unleash our beauty within. I see it all the time. I don't just mean with physical exercise, face lifts, and what have you, but with careers, too, or having the picture-perfect family. Obviously, it's good to look and feel good, to enjoy career success and to have a wonderful family. Problem is, too often I see cracks in that picture frame, fear underlying the pursuit of career success and physical exercise as a feeble attempt to keep from losing one's youth. That's not freedom, that's desperation. And sometimes it's a fine line.
I must be clear: family, exercise, and career success are all good things. I just want them to be real things in my life, and not a mirage. Let me put it to you this way - if your life is picture perfect on the outside, but you're ugly, broke and alone on the inside, it won't do you much good. That foundation has cracks, and I don't mean your make-up.
1 Samuel 16:7 ~ For the Lord sees not as man sees: for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Timothy 4:8 ~ For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
What do we do if maybe we've spent more time maintaining our outward appearance than our own heart? You guessed it! It's time for a make-over. It starts with two simple steps:
1) Identify your make-up.
2) Restore the foundation.
Start by identifying your make up. And by that, I mean, discover what you are truly made of. Knowing who you are starts by knowing Whose you are. You were created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27).
1 Corinthians 7:23 ~ You were bought with a price. Do not become the servants of men. (Not just "male" men, but mankind).
Secondly, restore the foundation in your life by putting first things first. When we put God first place, we don't have to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear. (Matthew 6:25).
Matthew 6:33 - But you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
What mirror are you looking into? Are you trying to conform to the image of this world, or are you beholding the One who reflects the real you?
Romans 12:2 - Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
James 1:23-25 - For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 ~ Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Into what image are we transformed when we behold the glory of the Lord? Freedom. When we look into the perfect law of liberty, when we behold our Lord rather than our own selves, then we are changed into the image of Freedom. Let your true beauty shine through today. Look into the perfect law of liberty (God's Holy Word), follow its precepts and watch yourself transform into a lighter, brighter you.
Challenge: Spend (at least) as much time today studying scripture, in prayer, or fellowshipping with God as you spent making yourself presentable for the outside world today. Watch what happens.