Thursday, January 23, 2014

What is Beauty?

What is beauty?  I've heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The online dictionary defines beauty as:

  • The quality of being physically attractive
  • The qualities in a person or thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind
  • A beautiful woman
And then I turn in my Bible to 1 Peter 3:3-4 and read about beauty.
    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. 
I know I receive mixed messages about beauty. The world celebrates youth and beauty. Yes, I was once young and enjoyed that time in my life. But now I'm getting older.  So how do I view beauty?

I have to laugh as the children I spend my day with at work speak very openly and bluntly.  Only yesterday, one little girl was touching the skin on my arm and said "Miss Debbie, you're old!"  I had to chuckle and replied "Yes Miss Debbie is old".  I then added "Enjoy your beautiful skin while you're young because it doesn't last forever".  She looked back at me with a quizzical look on her face.

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As I consider beauty, I'm discovering that there's something beautiful about a person who reflects the Biblical passage in 1 Peter.  A gentle and quiet spirit isn't the norm today.  People want to be noticed.  We broadcast our daily activities on Facebook.  But what about the needs that go unnoticed?  The hurts and not so pretty days when life seems to be so hard.  I believe all of us have experienced days like that.

I think of some of the beautiful women who have come alongside me through the years.  Two of them are now gone from this earth and are in heaven.

Susie was my children's supervisor when I was a children's leader in Bible Study Fellowship for seven years.  She also mentored me one on one.  Susie is beautiful.

Georgia was a woman who exemplified the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. She suffered physically and died at a much too young age.  But she impacted me greatly as she was the one who encouraged me to study the Bible in depth for myself.  She taught me to SOAP the Scriptures during my quiet time.  (Scripture, observation, application, prayer)

As I consider beauty, what also comes to my mind is the beauty of God's creation. I've been trying to live with more of an awareness of my surroundings. The children teach me too as I notice their excitement upon discovering new things.  As I'm on the lookout for those every day blessings, my perspective has been slowly changing.

How about you?  How do you define beauty?  Are you focused on the world's definition of beauty?  Are your eyes being opened more to the beauty of God's creation in nature and people?

I'm linking up with Bonnie for Faith Barista Jam.



Blessings and love,

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23 comments:

Trudy Den Hoed said...

Thank you, Debbie, for these thoughtful reflections of real beauty. I love the SOAP idea!

david edwards said...

Reading The Divine Mentor and practicing (SOAP) is a wonderful way to accomplish what you are discussing Debbie; I used it in my Young Adults Class this past year and they loved it.

The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith As You Sit at the Feet of the Savior
By Wayne Cordeiro / Bethany House


Wasted years and untold tears---God wrote the book on avoiding "if onlys"! Discover how a disciplined, systematic digesting of Scripture gives you the benefit of countless experiences and invaluable life lessons. From routine reading to fresh encounters, you'll learn to listen to the Holy Spirit's eternal counsel as you spend time in his living Word. 240 pages, softcover from Bethany

Renee said...

I can get caught up in the beauty of others, but mostly make the effort to find beauty in the way the hearts of others speak.....and nature is such a wonder isn't it?! Amazing Creator has blessed us so much in this world.....Stopping over from Bonnies...God bless!

Lisa notes... said...

I love the juxtaposition of the worldly definition of beauty with what Peter said. I'm hoping to grow more in the latter because I'm definitely losing the former (if I ever had any, ha).

I find you beautiful on all counts, Debbie!

Elizabeth Dianne said...

Beautiful post and I think you are growing older with much wisdom, beauty and grace dear Debbie.

Michelle V. said...

Debbie, this is beautiful and it made me smile and think of the special women who have really encouraged me in my walk. They are beautiful indeed!

BARBIE said...

I can get carried away, looking at the beauty of others and their surroundings. I am striving to keep my focus on Jesus so that He can open my eyes to my own beauty and that which He's given to me.

Sita said...

I echo what Elizabeth Dianne said. Beautifully said. :-)

Denise said...

This is lovely Debbie; our inward beauty defines us, and it it not only blesses and encourages others but also goes very deep to bring true happiness and contentment in our hearts. What beautiful inspiration you have shared!!

Blessings and bunches of hugs for a blessed weekend!
Have just moved over to http://refinemelord.com/
Denise

Kim | Just For Clicks Blog said...

What a wonderful post. As I'm about to celebrate a big birthday, I realize that it's only as I've gotten older I've come to understand what true beauty is. It's sad that as women we waste much time trying to chase after surface beauty. As the mom of a preteen girl, I pray that I can instill in her at a young age the truth that real beauty is what radiates from inside us when we trust and know who we are in Jesus Christ.

Nancy said...

I think as we turn over our will to the Father, He grows in us a quiet and gentle spirit by which others will see Him...This is my prayer....Debbie you are a sweet fragrance to the Father.....

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