Step back. Take a look in the mirror. Take a very long look at yourself.
Do you find yourself beautiful?
I don’t mean “beautiful” in the same sense that this world defines beauty. I am not talking about how groomed your hair is, how tan your skin is, how white your teeth are. I’m not talking about whether you are a size 2 or whether or not your clothes are expensive and new. I’m not talking about your body type or even your smile. I’m talking about true beauty.
I am talking about the only type of beauty that God sees when He looks at us. I’m talking about the most magnificent beauty–the beauty of our hearts and the beauty of our condition in Christ. I am talking about the beauty of your soul as a true man or woman of God. I’m talking about the type of beauty that this world is blind to, because it is not simply visible on the surface. I’m talking about the type of beauty that people so easily disregard now-a-days. REAL beauty.
Before we can even begin to look at love and relationships, we have to redefine our own reflections in the mirror. How can we be anything for anyone else, if we aren’t even aware of who we are for our King? How can we enter into friendships, fellowship, and romantic relationships, if we don’t know our own identities? Too many people get lost that way. Lost and never found. We can’t be defined by any other identity than our identity in God. Meaning, we aren’t defined by our athletics, we aren’t defined by our careers, we aren’t defined by our husbands or our wives or our children. We aren’t defined by our “roles”. We aren’t defined by our hardships, nor are we defined by our successes. Our identity is defined in Christ.
What, then, does that look like? What does our beauty look like to Him? What does it look like to be a man or woman in Christ? That answer lies, most clearly, in the gospel. In understanding our salvation, we can understand our beauty.
We discussed earlier that the way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. Plain and simple. The belief in Him and the belief in the truth of His life, His death, and His resurrection. The Bible clearly tells us that when we are truly saved–meaning, when we TRULY accept Jesus Christ into our hearts–then we are emptied of ourselves and filled with the Holy Spirit. THAT is the true definition of the grace God shows us. The Bible tells us that the moment we accept Christ into our lives, Christ literally lives inside of us.
Woah…take a moment to let that sink in. Because that’s incredible. You may be sitting there, staring at the computer screen, totally confused right now–so let me explain in the most basic of terms. The book of John does a fantastic job of teaching us about our beauty because it teaches us about the Holy Spirit.
Imagine waking up every single day and not worrying about a single thing. Not analyzing what you were going to be doing that day. Not living by a schedule or a plan–but simply waking up and following one man. That is what Jesus’ disciples did for years. They followed Jesus, with complete trust, through every step of every moment of every day. Throughout His life, Jesus made it very clear to His disciples that He would die one day. The disciples were really upset because they didn’t want Him to leave them. They didn’t want to be abandoned. They placed so much dependency and faith in Him, that they didn’t know what they were going to do without Him. But Jesus was prepared for their reactions, and He made a promise to them (and to all of us). He told them that, though His body would be gone, He would still be with them. His spirit would live in them. He may not PHYSICALLY be there with them any more, but He would never abandon them. They believed in Him so, therefore, He would always dwell in them. THAT is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Christ’s spirit inside of us……..wow. (I just did a fist pump thinking about how amazing He is! haha) Therefore, when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, it is not a one-sided deal. We aren’t just making a sacrifice and giving, giving, giving…it’s an exchange. In giving control to Him, He fills us with His spirit!
Can you even imagine? Can you even wrap your head around that? Incredible! When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we are completely filled by the Holy Spirit. We are drowned in Him. Once we have accepted Christ into our lives, we are emptied of ourselves. When God looks at you, He does not see YOU anymore. He sees Jesus Christ. He sees His son. What an unbelievably humbling concept. Can you believe you even have the honor of hosting such a spirit? But that is what He tells us. That we are no longer ourselves. Rather, we carry Christ in us. Ah! No wonder it always feels so amazing! 🙂
To tie all of this back toward the beginning, ask yourself again what God sees when He looks at you. Ask yourself again how beautiful you are. If you believe in Him, the answer is simple…He sees His Son! He sees the beauty of Jesus Christ! And THAT is the truest, most overwhelming, most humbling beauty that exists. You are SO beautiful. You are SO BEAUTIFUL. You have to believe that fact. If He is living in you, you are SO unbelievably beautiful. No matter your past, no matter your flaws, no matter your sins, you are beautiful in His eyes.
Now how does that beauty define us?…
(to be continued)