I cannot remember how old I was when I learnt what it supposedly meant to be ‘ugly.’ However, I know that it was a couple of months ago, as you may have seen from my previous posts, that I finally learnt the biblical difference between beauty and ugly.
There is only one woman in the Bible that I would really describe as ugly. Her name is Jezebel. There is no doubt that Jezebel was physically beautiful, she was also well groomed and took great pride in her appearance for 2 Kings 9:30 states that “When Jezebel, the queen mother, heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window.” Before she was about to die, Jezebel did everything that the world says a beautiful woman should do. She put her makeup on and did her hair. However with the knowledge of what Jezebel did and who she was, it is very hard to accept that fixing your hair and wearing make up will make you beautiful. Beauty is so much more than the way you look. People often say that they find peoples personalities to be more important than their looks. In a way they are right. As princesses of God, we should be striving for spiritual beauty more than physical beauty.
The book of Romans is a very helpful book, it helps us to understand and learn how to live a Christian life. The apostle Paul gives us a lot of advice about how to live God’s way and not the world’s way. In Romans 12:1-2 he writes “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”It is with this knowledge that I have come to understand what beauty is.
I think that we all agree that we belong to God, so with that knowledge it is true to say that we are God’s property. I cleared out my wardrobe the other day because it was an absolute mess, I had clothes that I hadn’t worn in years and clothes that I forgot that I even owned. I sorted my clothes into piles, I separated the ones that I would keep from the ones that I would give to charity. As the owner of those clothes, I was able to determine the value that they had, were they suitable for me to keep or would they be better off with someone who would actually wear it? That was the question that I had to ask myself! In a similar way, God is the one who determines our value. Although unlike me, God wouldn’t throw you away if He doesn’t want you anymore because there is never a time that He doesn’t want you. God is willing and able to use us no matter what state we are in.
The sad truth is that we have been believing a lie for a very long time. There is a difference between the flawless beauty that the world is obsessed with and the spiritual beauty that God wants us all to achieve. God wants our bodies as a living sacrifice. God wants us to offer ourselves to Him wholeheartedly, allowing Him to have full control over us. When we do that we will be able to love how He loved, pray like He prayed, think like He thought and grow closer to Him day by day. A person who is daily clothed in the armour of God is someone who has achieved the highest form of beauty. When we renew our minds we will be able to distinguish between the definitions that the world gives us and the definitions that God gives us.
I remember reading a devotional a while ago by the minister Kim Brooks and inside it she spoke about King David in a way that made me think of him in a completely different way. To the human eye King David seemed like the least likely candidate to become King. In 1 Samuel 16, we are told that the Prophet Samuel was instructed by God to go and find the next king to replace Saul out of Jesse’s sons. When Samuel arrived he immediately thought that he knew who the ‘anointed’ was. Both Jesse and Samuel examined seven of Jesse’s sons but found that none of them were the ones that God had anointed. In their eyes, it seemed as though the boys that they picked were the obvious choice because their appearance made them suitable for the job. King David was the last one to be picked. In the end, he was only picked because there were no other sons, they did not pick him because they believed that he could actually do it. However God picked him because He knew that He would be able to use him to bring His people back to Him. In that chapter, God told us that He cares more about what is in our hearts than about our outward appearance.
Therefore, to my sister who feels ugly, I just want you to understand that in God’s eyes you are beautiful. It is a shame that others have tried to tell you that you aren’t. God used the word ‘good’ constantly to describe His creation. You are valuable in the eyes of God. You should not have to change to fit the world’s standards but you should stay just the way that God made you. You are the daughter of a King, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is no product or surgery that could make you beautiful. What you would be achieving is subjective worldly beauty. You would still be able to find someone in this world who has a problem with the way you look. That is the problem with the world’s view of beauty, it is not universal. However God’s standard of beauty is so much more. All God wants you to be is to be like David, a child after His own heart. When you submit to God and allow Him to make you whole, you will realise that in His eyes, you are beautiful, you are a work of art, created by the Greatest Artist that exists.
To my sister who feels ugly, this is my prayer for you. I pray that you will learn and remember who you are and who you belong to. I pray that the holy spirit will give you confidence and that you will accept your rightful title as the daughter of a King. In Jesus’ name, Amen.