Okay, we discussed the beauty God sees in us once we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We discussed that, in His eyes, we are literally emptied of ourselves and filled with His Son–and there is no greater beauty than that of Jesus’ Spirit. (Still mind-boggling to try to understand, but amazing!) So how does that define us? We know what we look like to God once we are Saved, but what does it look like to other people? How is that beauty reflected through us?
To put it in the most black and white terms, when we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ literally lives inside of us, it is impossible for Him not to shine through us. So the beauty that defines us and that others see, should truly be the beauty of Christ as well.
To sit here and say, “We must live our lives like Jesus Christ did…” would not only sound cliché, but it would also not even touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an explanation of the beauty we should host in our hearts. 1 John 3:18 does an amazing job of summarizing it in saying,
“Dear children, let us not simply love with words and tongue, but with action and in truth.”
If you look at the context of 1 John (not to be mistaken with the book of John) it addresses our salvation and clarifies what it means for us to truly be saved and for the Holy Spirit to live in us. It also provides “evidence” of exactly what it looks like for Christ to live in someone’s heart. Evidence of the beauty that then shines through that person. So, this particular verse, though not drowned in detail, says volumes.
A study of the Bible, or simply of the New Testament, for that matter, is a study that lasts a lifetime. It is a study of the life of Jesus Christ and a guideline for how exactly we should strive to live our lives. It is extensive and detailed and FILLED with unbelievable truths, but it takes patience to learn. Each passage addresses a different concept, each book addresses a different pillar of our foundation in the faith. We should strive to study the Word and mature in our walks daily…hourly…constantly. But we must also understand that we will never learn it all. We will NEVER be able to do it all perfectly. Only He was capable of doing that. HOWEVER, the Bible also tells us that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with hunger, filled with comfort, filled with conviction. So, though it may be impossible to ever learn it ALL and apply it ALL constantly, when you are TRULY saved, that becomes your all-consuming objective. That becomes your identity. That becomes your greatest goal. And THAT is the beauty that others see within us–the beauty that truly matters.
As Christians, if we are truly walking in the light, then not a single person should ever be able to cross our paths without clearly seeing that there is something different about us. I’m not simply talking about the people closest to you, I’m talking about everyone–I’m talking about our teammates, I’m talking about our fraternity brothers. I’m talking about the man you bumped carts with in the grocery store. I’m talking about our co-workers. I’m talking about the taxi driver you sat with for 5 minutes. I’m talking about your neighbor, your doctor, the janitor where you go to school. I’m talking about the one person you despise the most. The person that bullies you or torments you or makes you feel any less beautiful than you are. That person deserves, more than ANYONE, the opportunity to see that light through you. Because that light will affect them. No matter what. Whether it hits them now or it hits them 20 years from now, that light WILL change them. And you may be the only person in their life that has the opportunity to shine on them. (We will touch more on this concept later in the year, as well, so stay tuned!)
But THAT is the beauty we should search for in others and that is the beauty we should allow to shine through us. It is not hard to see. At all. It is not some mystical element that you have to be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of. This world would love to tell us that form of beauty is an illusion or reserved only for the “best” people. No, it is not visible on the surface of our skin, but it should pour from us the minute we open our mouths. The minute we move. The minute we smile. That beauty is not the beauty this shallow world recognizes and, sadly, not a beauty that every person has recognized is within them yet. But it is a beauty that is contagious. And it is a beauty that can only be spread through us. We are His vessels.
Step back. Take a look in the mirror. Take a very long look at yourself.
Do you find yourself beautiful?
(to be continued)