This is another session from Leslie’s conference. It’s called (guess!) Incorruptible Beauty.
“. . . the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. . . is very precious in the sight of God.”
1 Peter 3:4b
Inner Beauty: being confident in who you are; having a positive “sense of self”; appreciating your own uniqueness and personal qualities.
It says that ‘if you look inside’, you will find out that you can ‘feel good about yourself’ because you are ‘appreciating your own uniqueness and personal qualities’ and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, you’re beautiful in your own way.
Not all of it is wrong. We do have worth in the sight of God. We don’t have to be hiding in the house because we’re ugly. But, we must understand that true and incorruptible and lasting beauty does not come from this.
What is that wrong?
- It isn’t Biblically correct.
“and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
“And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live! ’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live! ’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.”
Does that sound like the baby was saying, “oh, if I just look inside of myself…!” The baby had no beauty until Christ came and gave her beauty! Until that, she was disgusting!!
Incorruptible Beauty: Literal meaning: uncorrupted (pure) and immortal (of Heaven, not earth)
In other words . . .Reflecting the purity and Heavenly nature of Jesus Christ in and through your character and conduct, that is true beauty.
“If a soul has any beauty, it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us.”
Have you ever seen someone who is truly in love with Christ? I was able to have a bible study teacher like that. She was so happy all the time, she was always smiling, she was young and pure and a true role model for those of us who were looking up to her. The teacher in that group that I have now too, she reflects Christ, she doesn’t try to make herself important. She listens, she cares, she is genuine. A lot of people wouldn’t think that she is the most beautiful person in the world, but I do. I think that she is more beautiful than almost anyone else that I have ever seen or met. Both of my grandmas are beautiful, my mom is beautiful.
Because they have incorruptible beauty. They don’t care what the world thinks of them. They care about what Jesus thinks of them.
My parents won’t let me wear any shirt unless it covers my shoulders or any shorts unless they are below my knees. I have thrown big fits about this. It drives me crazy during the summer, everyone’s in their short shorts and their tank tops, their hair’s up and I want to fit in, to have friends. I’m out there in my jeans and my tee-shirt and I am hot (I’m sure that their hot too!), I am frustrated, and I want to fit in.
But, God has been showing me lately, I don’t need to fit in. I don’t need to ‘look like everyone else’ in order to be beautiful. I am beautiful when I show Christ! I must decrease so that He can increase. That is beauty that lasts!! That is the beauty that us as young teenagers, older teenagers and women are looking for! Beauty that lasts!
“What would happen if we as Christian women began to put aside our self-seeking ambitions and joyfully take the lowest place, just as Jesus did? How much more of Jesus would people see in our lives if we adopted the attitude, “I must decrease, but He must increase”?”
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who…made Himself of no reputation.”
Philippians 2:5, 7
Christ made himself of no reputation!
We as women give ourselves so much reputation!! We’re always on Facebook, posting selfies, tweeting about our day and what we had for breakfast. We are so scared of not being known, of being trampled into the ground. We make a lot of noise to get noticed!
What if we spent that time edifying others instead of building our temporary fame?
To truly edify others with our words, tweets, or posts – we must ask ourselves . . .
- Do these words truly point people to Jesus Christ and reflect His nature?
- Do these words serve any higher purpose other than to fill space with idle chatter?
- Do these words honor God, or do they esteem the shallow things of this world?
If an Activity Has Eternal Value . . .
- It causes you to draw closer to Jesus Christ and/or learn more about Him.
- It builds meaningful relationships with people God has put in your life.
- It helps you bless others and assists you in sharing the love of Christ with them.
- It helps you become better equipped for the things God has called you to.
- It leaves you peacefully refreshed instead of agitated and distracted.
- It bears “good fruit” instead of “bad fruit” in your life (see Galatians 5:19-26).
(Both lists were by Leslie Ludy)
How beautiful are the arms, which have embraced Christ – the eyes which have gazed upon Christ, the lips which have spoken with Christ, the feet which have followed Christ. How beautiful are the hands which have worked the works of Christ, the feet which are treading in His footsteps have gone about doing good, the lips which have spread abroad His Name, the lives which have been counted for Him.
Christina Rossetti, 1880
Think about it.