Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Beauty of a Woman Inside & Out: Beauty Secrets from the Bible

My Beautiful Sister Who is Beautiful Inside and Out

Christiana Aguilera got it right when she sang, “You are beautiful, no matter what they say.”  God made all of us beautiful.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 says 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.  EVERYTHING. (That includes you and I)  –Isn’t that exciting? The God of the universe calls US beautiful!  So why don’t we always see ourselves that way?

   I asked the Lord to give me a personal story of when I have felt insecure about who I am and the beauty He created me to be and as I waited, I had about a zillion memories come to mind.  But the one I want to tell you about is one that I think every woman can relate to. 

  Back in 2006 my husband had landed a large account and we were invited to go to the corporate party in Bellevue.  I was so nervous, not really knowing what to expect and of course I had to go shopping for a new outfit because suddenly everything I had in my closet was old. –Nobody else ever does that right? .... So I’m at the mall, looking at every store, not finding anything (Because that’s just how it is when you need to find an outfit, they all just aren’t good enough) I finally find this cute top and skirt and decide to go with that.

  So we’re headed to the event and I’m feeling pretty confident in the way I look.  My hair was lookin’ good, my make-up was on, and I had on a new outfit.  I felt beautiful.  That is until I got off of the elevator and walked into the conference room.  I had never seen so many physically beautiful people in one room in my life!  Suddenly I felt like I had on the most boring outfit ever and when I checked myself out in the mirror in the ladies room next to the other women, I felt like I wanted to just hide.  They were so externally beautiful and my view of myself at that moment was that I was not.  I was believing the lie that I was NOT beautiful, but average.  While all the while I’m sure God was trying to yell to me, “Hey Tasha!  Remember you are beautiful, I’ve made you beautiful!”  -I just couldn’t hear Him with the loud voice insecurity that I was carrying.

Insecurity.  That’s one of the Beauty Secrets that we need to know about.  It functions like some really UGLY sunglasses that block our view of who we really are.

  Do you think that the women in the Bible ever wore UGLY sunglasses of insecurity?   You know those women in the Old Testament wore a lot of things both UGLY and Beautiful just like we do today.  In fact, you might not realize it, but the matriarchs of Christianity had struggles just like us.  They weren’t perfect. –Isn’t that great news?  The Bible says that we are to model ourselves after the holy women of the past.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (New International Readers Version)
 3 Braiding your hair doesn't make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn't make you beautiful. 4Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like that doesn't fade away. God places great value on it.
 5 This is how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful. They put their hope in God. And they followed the lead of their own husbands.

  Who were those holy women?  They were the women who were married to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob   –Anyone remember their wives names?  They were Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel.  I want to look at just two of these women; Sarah and Rebekah.

  In my book “Path of the Blessing,” you’ll learn about a few of the choices they made that determined their path in life and how beauty played a part on that path.  –I’m talking external AND internal beauty.  So if God says in His word that we are to look to these women and follow their example, then we should do that!

  In Part 1 Chapter 2 of my book, “Path of the Blessing” we see how Abraham’s wife, Sarah, Sarai at the time, experiences how beauty brings about blessings from God. 

Here's an excerpt from my book:

      Now we’ve come to a situation in Abram’s life that dispels any misconception that he was “perfect.”  There was a famine and he and his wife Sarai went to Egypt because Egypt always had more than enough food.  While there he lied to Pharaoh and said that Sarai was his sister. 

   The Pharaoh believed his little lie and because of Sarai’s beauty, Pharaoh gave him wealth.  Pharaoh was so taken with her beauty that he was going to make Sarai one of his wives, so he blessed Abram with abundant wealth.

(So the Pharaoh found out that Sarai was Abraham’s wife and let her go and the Pharaoh sent them on their way with everything they had)

Let’s look at the situation that Abram and Sarai just walked out of in Egypt.  They received favor from men, especially Pharaoh and they received and acquired abundant wealth.  These blessings were not attained by lying, but a direct result of Sarai’s beauty.  Sarai’s beauty is a blessing that came from the Lord. So we can attribute every blessing that Abram received in Egypt as from the Lord.  It had nothing to do with Pharaoh or lying. Nevertheless, Abram kept on walking on his path of blessing, slipping a little but still moving forward.  

  So what we see here is that Sarah was so beautiful even the Egyptians desired her for her beauty.  Do you think that the Egyptians saw her internal beauty at first?  -I don’t think so.  I think it was her external beauty.  –But remember at this point, Sarah and Abraham were not very wealthy.  Their wealth was in livestock and not jewelry.  So Sarah had a beauty that didn’t necessarily require the enhancements that we have today.  She was beautiful all on her own.

  Let’s look at Rebekah.  In Part 2 Chapter 1 of  “Path of the Blessing” we see how Abraham’s chief servant adorned Rebekah with gold:

  The chief servant gave Rebekah gifts and asked who she is.  The gifts were a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. 

   Rebekah ran and told her family about what was going on and her brother Lehman ran out to meet the man at the spring. “As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arm, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring.  ‘Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,’ he said.” 

(Wow! Now this time God was blessing Rebekah with a gold nose ring and gold bracelets; enhancing her beauty! AND do you know what happens next?)

   After hearing the whole story, Rebekah's family agreed that this is from the Lord.  They then said to take her and go and let her become the wife of the servant’s master. When Abraham's servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. (Praising God)  Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and clothes and gave them to Rebekah.  He also brought out costly gifts to her brother and her mother. 

  God blessed Rebekah with gold and silver jewelry and clothes to enhance her beauty.  –Are you getting a picture of how we are to be beautiful like these women? Which one do you model your beauty after; who do you relate to, Sarai or Rebekah?

So in one case, beauty resulted in blessings and in the other, blessings resulted in increased beauty.  –Ah Ha!  Another Beauty Secret!  When we walk on the path of the blessing we become more beautiful!

  So I ask you to think about what is stopping you from walking on that path; from realizing your own beauty?

Sometimes we don’t recognize the beauty that we are because of the UGLY we’ve layered on top.  –What do I mean?  Well since I’m a fan of fashion, think of yourself; your beautiful self as who you are right now.  Then we tend to cover that beauty up with UGLY fashion.

-Like the UGLY sunglasses of Insecurity
-The UGLY scarf of Gossip
-The UGLY jacket of Lying and Deceit
-The UGLY hat of Jealousy
-The UGLY handbag of Unforgiveness

And the list goes on…

  Have you ever known anyone that is beautiful until you get to know them?  Then you start to see the UGLY that’s all over them.  Have you noticed how this UGLY can really weigh a person down?  It’s much harder to be the person that I’m supposed to be if I’m being restrained by all of this UGLY!

So what can we do about this all of this UGLY? The Bible has a solution.  In fact it’s another Beauty Secret.  It’s better than any beauty treatment you can find.  –Oh and it’s free! –Even better right?

Hebrews 12:1-3
 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

  Fixing our eyes on Jesus and throwing all of that UGLY off reveals the true beauty that you are.  Jesus is the ONLY one that can help us start the process of revealing more and more of the beauty within.

What is the Beauty that you are? Who were you created to be? –Start the process by inviting Jesus to be the Lord of your life and if you already are in a relationship with Jesus, then start by getting alone and just ask Him to reveal the UGLY in your life and let the Beauty Treatments of refining begin!

If you've realized the love that God has for you and how He views you as beautiful, then share about it in the comments below!  *You can also check out pictures from this talk I held as a Women's Event at my website:

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