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
I know that life as I know it is temporary; my looks are temporary; and the worldly possessions I have are for a limited time. What I know to be everlasting are the intangibles in life that You give me, that people can feel through interaction, and see through my deeds. I want more of the priceless poured into my cup, because these intangibles are the only things that I can take with me throughout my eternal journey. Thank You Father for Your constant love. Amen.
Sometimes we are so consumed by our outward appearance, that we forget that the long-lasting impression that the world will have will not be with how good we look or smell, or what fancy label from our clothing or accessories we can flash; it will be the energy that we project to the world that they will either embrace or reject. You can be supermodel hot on the outside, but have the energy of a troll on the inside.
Ugly is ugly and darkness is darkness, no matter how you try to mask it.
I’ve been asked plenty of times why I don’t spend a great amount of time getting “dolled up” and glamorous, even for huge black tie galas. My answer is simple; all of that is temporary, it’s how I treat each person that I interact with that means the most. I can be glitz and glam on the outside, but then treat people as though they are beneath me, or that I do t want to be bothered with their presence. People aren’t going to say, “wow she’s so beautiful”. Nope. Their going to say “wow she’s such a #*%^#”. You can fill in the blanks with whatever negative word you can think of, because they would all apply.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can still get glam and pour love and dignity into others. But what I’m saying is, if I had to choose between spending an extra 30-90 minutes trying to look like an airbrushed supermodel, or spending that time looking into the eyes and hearts of people—I will choose the latter each and every time. I can go home and reflect on how great I looked in comparison to the other women that were in the room. Or I can go home and reflect on all of the people that I shared great energy and a connection with. My first option has a temporary shelf life. The latter is longer lasting and can lead to deeper connections with people.
I’ve had makeup artists who can’t wait to get their hands on my face so I can be their walking billboard. Oh they go on and on about how they love my eyes, nose, lips, and what they could do to my eyebrows. Each and every time they ask to draw on my canvas, I respectfully decline. I’m cool. I’ve got my lipstick or lip gloss, eye liner, and if I’m really in the mood I have some mascara and eye shadow that I can dab on real quick—5 minutes flat and I’m done. Add the 7-10 minutes to shower and dress; let’s go!
I made an exception on my wedding day and let a makeup artist dazzle me up. She dazzled and I slowly disappeared in many ways; I felt and looked different, so different that even my husband said that day that I didn’t look like me. When we took a break from the reception to change into more comfortable clothes, and I began to wipe off the layers of makeup—he looked at me and said, “there you are!”
Don’t get me wrong, I like fashion; I have tons of clothes, have enjoyed carrying around my handbags and torturing my feet with cute shoes, I even have colorful eyeshadow palettes to play with—but none of that defines me, and that’s not how I want to be defined. I’m a servant leader who wants the world to see God’s love and light flow from me no matter how I’m dressed, or what I look like.
I remind myself that looks are temporary; what if there was a circumstance that changed my outward appearance, would that change my inward appearance? If I’m pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside, and then I lose the outward prettiness, then I seriously doubt I would miraculously become pretty on the inside.
I truly believe that my perceived outward beauty has a great deal more to do with my inward beauty; what I project from within does something extra to my shell. Because I don’t look that hot when I’m sad or angry. But even I smile brighter when I see my smile. My smile reflects my peace and joy within.
I’ve met a lot of outwardly beautiful women who spewed ugliness from within. Their venom was like a green fog that followed behind them, and crept slowly ahead of them to alert you of their presence. Once the mask comes off, no matter how much you try to convince yourself of something different, you know what you saw. I’ve made it a habit of steering clear of them, or limiting my interaction, because I don’t want their “funk” to jump on me.
Energy is contagious, both good and bad rubs off on all of those in close proximity. It’s like the movie “Devil’s Advocate” with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. Keanu’s character couldn’t see behind the glitz, glamour, and beauty like his wife could. He couldn’t see it until it was almost too late.
I don’t want to waste time with smoke and mirrors. What you see is what you get when you deal with me.
“I will stick with genuine and authentic for ‘priceless’ Chuck”. Yes, I just threw in a corny game show reference. Smile. After such a long reflection, I had to try to make you laugh.
Questions of the Day
1. What do you think of today’s message?
2. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?
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