There’s an old proverb which states, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. What I may perceive to be beautiful may not be beautiful to you. It is subjective.
The world we live in has set standards for what some perceive as beautiful in other people. Namely, a person’s size in weight, or in their assets (ahem), can determine their beauty. The color of their eyes, skin, and hair is another factor. As is the sound of their voice and even particular smells. I feel there is so much pressure to live up to these standards of beauty. It is a system designed to set me up for failure in someone’s eyes.
The definition according to Merriam-Webster is- “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses…” [Emphasis added] So, it’s no wonder that these physical qualities are what we use to determine beauty in our eyes. Our senses guide our perception of beauty by what we physically see, hear, smell, and touch.
I began to think about the notion of the beauty of God. His beauty is cited in songs, sermons, and scriptures. But, I can’t physically see, hear, smell, and touch Him. So, what makes Him beautiful?
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
These words of David, found in the scripture of Psalm 27:4, are more than just a lovely, poetic verse. Beauty in this context translates as “kindness, pleasantness, and thoughtfulness”. This definition of beauty undoubtedly describes attributes of character, instead of physical manifestations. It is the character of God that makes Him beautiful. And when I live like Jesus, I radiate these same beautiful characteristics. After all, I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27).
1 Peter 3:3-4 reassures me in this, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.” [Emphasis added] This unfading beauty is uncorrupted.
Goodness, how do I exude an uncorrupted character in a world full of sin? By the strength of the One who helps me in all things (Philippians 4:13). By setting my heart on what I believe God has given as guidelines (Phil. 4:8) for owning this unfading beauty.
Whatever is true- God is truth (John 14:6), His word is truth (John 17:17), and because the Holy Spirit lives in me I can and will excel in truth (1 John 2:27).
Whatever is noble- When I do what is right in the eyes of God and man, I live with honor (2 Corinthians 8:21), and a life worthy of respect (Titus 2:2).
Whatever is right- When I am obedient to observe and live out the laws of the Lord, I am made righteous in his sight (Romans 2:13, 1 John 3:7).
Whatever is pure- The wisdom that God imparts me is pure (James 3:17). And since I am like Christ, I can put my hope in Him who purifies (1 John 3:3).
Whatever is lovely- Christ loves me greatly and sacrificed himself as a condition of that love. I must follow His example and walk in the way of love (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Whatever is admirable- When I honor others and God in the way I live, I will be well off and will prosper (Ephesians 6:3).
I am instructed to dwell on these characteristics. But more than that, I am to live like Jesus who is the epitome of uncorrupted character and unfading beauty. Because of Him, I am made beautiful in His sight. And you, my friend, are made beautiful too!
I’d like to hear from you! What scriptures do you rely on to comfort your heart in regards to beauty? Post in the comments. 🙂
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”- 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)