Beauty For Ashes

Statistics say that 3 minutes of looking at a magazine can negatively influence one’s self esteem... 

Like a lot of girls I struggled a lot with the topic of beauty when I was younger. I believed that it is perfectly normal to be unhappy and dissatisfied with yourself and your body. Magazines and media were my source of truth and I strived to become more beautiful through exercise, beauty products or a change of behavior. 

God redefined beauty to me. He showed me what it actually means to accept and love myself unconditionally. I realized that accepting and loving yourself unconditionally is as important as loving your neighbor. If you don't have love and grace for yourself, how can you be loving and gracious to others? (Matthew 22:39). 

For the last couple of years this is one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned – to love myself unconditionally. To love myself everyday, just the way I am, the way God made me.

 

Loving yourself is as important as loving your neighbour

 

Unconditional means: absolute, not limited by conditions at any day or at any time – even on days we look into the mirror and we only see everything that’s wrong with us. It is especially on those days that we deserve unconditional love from ourselves. And this is not just addressing women; men need to hear this, too. 

God already put beauty inside of you and me before we were even aware of it. I believe that there were two significant events in our lives when we were marked by beauty: 

The first event was the day we were born. We, as humans, are God’s masterpieces, just the way we are. There is no one more perfect than another because everyone is unique. In Psalm 139:14 David says, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” 

There are no mistakes in God’s creation. Right now, there are around 7 billion human masterpieces living on this earth – from the homeless guy to the Hollywood supermodel, from the Muslim to the prostitute – every single one of them is beautiful and worthy to the Father, the perfect Creator.

 

Why waste time on thoughts that aren't even in His mind?

 

The second event was the day we died with Christ and were raised with Him. On that day you put on the perfection of Jesus, your heart and your Spirit were beautified in Him. You were crowned with forgiveness and grace, made clean and pure forever, destined to be a walking testimony of His love – that is true beauty! It is so much more than the outward appearance of a person. It’s knowing that you are a free son and daughter, always loved and always forgiven no matter what. 

"To bestow on them the crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Isaiah 61:3 

In neither of those two events you contributed anything to your beauty. It was the Father who defined you as His beautiful one and because of Him we know now what true love and beauty looks like.  

So be encouraged today, next time you look into the mirror, to speak life and love over yourself and your body. Be gracious to yourself and look at yourself the way God looks at you, love yourself the way God loves you – unconditionally, not limited by any conditions! God has only good thoughts over you, so why waste time on a thought in your mind that is not in His mind?