When I ask this question I am not talking about what is on the outside, I am asking you to look deeper inside and find out who you are. What are your virtues and characteristics that make you look more like Jesus than the world? Do you have any? The beauty that God wants is not that of a person well put together, fine clothing, perfect make-up, no wrinkles, nice full lips and so on, these are the things the world looks for. My grandmother used to say that “pretty is only skin deep and beauty is found inside.”
In Colossians 3:12-15 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Too many Christians walk around trying desperately to look and act like the world so that they won’t be found out, or they just do not see that our God, a holy God desires and calls us to more and different standards of the heart and mind. When we become a “new creation” in Christ things should look different for us. As the Holy Spirit comes into us and starts to clean us up inside there should be a noticeable difference in us and the attitudes, characteristics, and virtues of the world. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, I want to look nice. I like to wear pretty things, have my make-up on etc. I am talking about the inward self, the one that dictates our actions and reactions to people and the world around us. What makes us tick?
Are you compassionate towards others plights? Are you kind and gentle when dealing with family, friends, strangers? Are you patient or do you get easily frustrated with people who do not conform to your desires or do as you think they should? Are you forgiving? I think the last one is probably a stickler for many. We want to feel justified in our anger and unforgiveness. We want to let that other person know we feel wronged. It is our right after all isn’t it? No, we are never ever given permission to hold a grudge or be unforgiving. We are told to forgive as Jesus forgave us, what, you do not think you have been that bad so you have not needed too much forgiveness? Not so my friend you are in denial!
Are you a thankful person, peaceful? Too often we get caught up in life’s rifts and try to shove our opinions down others throats just like the secular world tries to do every day on the news and radios and just in life. They are right you are wrong. If you do not think like them then there is something wrong with you. Our standards of thought and our actions should be dictated by what God’s word says, not even by how our hearts feel (Jeremiah 17:9) we cannot trust our hearts, and certainly not what the world thinks.
Are you a thankful person, not taking for granted the good things that may come your way and just your daily needs being supplied? Just because someone does not live at the level that you do either the same, higher or lower does not mean you are more special to God than the other person, or smarter or anything else. God gives and God takes away. God chooses who he will bless and who he will curse. Your life has been planned before you were born and maybe for some, this is your heaven. Something to think about!
God desires that we have all of these virtues, but there is one that is prized and more important than all the others and really without it you will not have those other virtues because this binds them all together. Do you “LOVE?” Love binds them into perfect unity. Love covers a multitude of sins, love motivates us to be peaceful, thankful, gentle, patient and on and on. Love is God’s heartbeat for us and love is what he wants us to have and put on display at every opportunity we have. Love for God first, family, friends, strangers, the cranky sales clerk, the hateful person in line, those less fortunate than us, even our enemies. Love, Love, Love.
When you look into yourself what do you see? Is love the extra heartbeat you hear inside that goes right along beside your heartbeat of life. Is love what wakes you up and drives all you do and say? Love acts, Love forgives, Love does not count the cost, Love helps and gives, Love waits and is kind, Love is patient, Love wins over everything! 1 Corinthians 13:8 ” Love never fails.” Love is beauty in action, Love inside a person instantly makes the person more attractive. Love shows itself in our faces and our actions.
Yes, I want to look nice while out roaming the world going about my daily activities, but more than anything I want to look like Jesus the one who has called me from the grave and saved me. I want his radiance to shine forth from my heart so brightly that shows up on my face. I want his beauty over the beauty of the world. When love moves us and motivates us all else will fall into place, we will find ourselves being more patient, forgiving, kind and so on. God’s beauty far outshines and outweighs the worlds. The world’s beauty eventually fades. There are not enough procedures and tricks to cover an aging body, eventually, the evidence that you have grown old shows up and sometimes because of all that we have done to try and prevent growing old, not being attractive can cause us to look even worse.
Well, I will leave you with this question: Who and what do you want to look like?