Recent researches show that even with a more inclusive definition of beauty, social media still induces intense pressure on women, regarding their appearance and self-image. The flawless beauty displayed on hundreds and hundreds of social media profiles is almost impossible to reach. Because of the popularity of photoshop and filters, many of these self-portraits are manipulated, thus setting an unrealistic standard of beauty for young women.
Therefore, young women may still live under the lie that “you have to be beautiful for people to love you”.
Who Puts Beauty in the World?
Instead of looking at the most updated fashion trend, we may need to find out the original meaning of beauty from its creator. Such understanding will bring us a different and more liberating perspective about beauty.
For Christ’s followers, we believe God created everything in the world.
Have you ever wondered why God needed to create flowers of different colours and leaves of different shapes, birds with colorful feathers and bugs in all the fascinating forms?
Some diversities have their practical meanings, but others may not.
It is as if the Creator was trying to decorate His creation with all the beautiful things He can come up with.
It is as if beauty is always part of the formula in God’s Creation.
Our love for things appealing to our eyes comes just as naturally.
Yet, what is true beauty?
What is true beauty?
In 1 Peter 3:3-4, Peter wrote: "Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
Eugene Peterson in the Message translated the same passages as: "What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in."
When Peter addressed an important message to the Christian wives who tried to win over their unbelieving husbands’ hearts in his time, Peter pointed out the true meaning of beauty in God’s eyes.
- It was not about physical beauty.
- It was about the newly transformed inner person, which was gentle, gracious and kind.
- It is a different kind of beauty. Eugene Peterson termed it as “Holy Beauty.” (1 Peter 3:2) Such “Holy Beauty” is captivating.
Holy Beauty as Christ’s Characters
- In Isaiah 53:2, the prophet said the Saviour had no form or majesty and no beauty that people should desire him.
- Jesus said, “I am gentle and lowly in heart”. (Matthew 11:29)
- Jesus is captivating, not because of His appearance, but His character which is gentle and lowly (or humble).
- The beauty of Jesus is in His soul that is gentle, gracious, kind and humble. The beauty of Jesus is in His humility to God.
- This beauty has captivated many hearts and transformed lives.
God, through Peter, told us that true beauty is more about our inner beauty. We are beautiful when we have Jesus’ gentle, gracious and kind spirit in us. We are beautiful when we can show Jesus’ Holy Beauty to the world.
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