Do You Need a Makeover?

There is an old street near our library, adjacent to the town square, that still has its original bricks. They must have been solid and attractive years ago, but these days the gigantic rivulets, careening potholes, and jagged edges only seem to be capable of rattling my brain and nerves.  I almost feel guilty taking an alternate route, because I absolutely appreciate the idea of treasuring our past and keeping history alive.  However, there comes a time when what was useful no longer is useful.  Improvements need to be made. 
As I was riding the waves on the old brick road last night, an image came into my mind of a woman beyond her teenage years, trying to look and act as if she still is a teenager.  Have you seen her? Instead of convincing us she is young, we find ourselves feeling a little bit embarrassed for her. The young look used to be quaint, but it doesn’t work for her anymore.
What Is Beautiful?
Some of the most beautiful women I know are far beyond “29 and holding”! They choose cheerful, modest clothing; avoiding too tight, too short, too low, unnatural make-up, and pigtails.  Their communication is filled with grace, humor, dignity and humility.  They keep a style that fits their personality and is becoming to them, somehow reaching a balance of drawing people to them without bringing too much attention to self.  If I could put it in a nutshell . . .
  •  They are confident in God’s love for them.
  •  They are secure in God’s grace which supercedes their sin.
  •  They are in love with God more than anything or anyone else.
  •  They love others with Christ’s love.

They aren’t perfect.  Even mature women struggle with “the uglies” – physical, emotional, and spiritual battles which affect their inner and outer beauty.  The difference is that they have learned to focus on Christ, the One whose opinion really matters.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:11, 13
God’s Plan For Our Beauty

God is patiently calling us, drawing us, loving us.  He wants us to receive His free gift of salvation.  He then chips away at the ugly sin in our lives, uncovering the masterpiece He’s had in mind all along.  If we are willing, He will make us more useful and more beautiful for Him.

When I look at a picture of myself from twenty-five years ago, I see a shy teenage girl, wearing a pastel plaid blouse and a string of white beads.  “Who is that?”  It seems like a lifetime ago.  Do you think I would look silly wearing the same outfit and acting like a fifteen-year-old at age thirty-nine?  Yes, of course.

Yet, spiritually speaking, when my spiritual birthday comes around every April (see My Testimony to find out more), I am humbled and ashamed that I am not more mature in my faith.  My heart cries out, God help me not to be carried away by every emotion and circumstance – help me be strong and mature in who You are, thus who I am in Your eyes.

What about you?  Are you “acting your age” physically, emotionally, and spiritually? 

1.  Physically . . .  Do you need to make a trip to donate old clothes, calling in a friend with the “dressing gene” to help you build a new wardrobe?  Shopping for bargains takes practice.  And sometimes you need to spend a little more money to invest in an outfit that becomes you.  We don’t need a closet full!  We just need a few outfits that work well.

2.  Emotionally . . .  Are you holding onto habits that are pulling you down, keeping you from being the best you can be for God?  Are there some hurts you need to forgive and fears to need to forsake?  God is waiting to help you.

3.  Spiritually . . .  Compared to one year ago, are you more like Christ?  Are you more patient?  Are you less critical of others?  Do you run to people or God first?  Are you encouraging the faith of those around you, even if they are at a different place of growth than you? 

These are tough questions, but there is no need to fret.  Spirituality isn’t some grand robe of accomplishment you earn when you reach certain level of faith – it is the direction you are going.  Are you going toward God or away from Him?

I would like to look better, to be sure.  But, if I were offered a free makeover, I would worry that the person “remaking” me would turn me into someone who doesn’t reflect my personality and preferences. I might hate my new look, be confused about my identity, not be able to maintain the new regimen, or get a big head about my cuteness! 

While I continue to try to keep my outward appearance fresh and current, I usually choose to invest more energy in getting to know my Creator.  He specializes in spiritual makeovers.  And His sense of style is perfect.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

 

Image courtesy of http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/

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