Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Some habits die hard.

They require great persistence, perseverance, prayer, hard work, faith, and an abundance of grace to overcome.

One such habit is that of speaking negatively about ourselves.

How easily we slip in to it.

I can barely register my reflection in a mirror without having to resist the temptation to sigh, frown and groan.

Years of conditioning and believing the wrong things have left their mark mentally, never mind the physical ravages of chronic sickness and signs of sinking flesh as I grow older.

Low self-esteem comes naturally to those who feel "framed, boxed, categorised, sifted, found wanting in society's eyes" and that's quite a few of us for starters.

It's not just about physical beauty (or the lack thereof) either. We can feel ugly on the inside too.

What tends to get forgotten is that we were fearfully and wonderfully made by One who pronounced us perfect in His sight.

God sees beauty in our brokenness and He already sees us perfected in Christ.

He looks at us through the eyes of grace and wants us to see ourselves in the same light.

"Can you trade your criticism for his gentleness and your impatience with yourself for his everlasting care?" ~ Holley Gerth 'If We Could Have Coffee'

Our lives here consist of being changed from glory to glory. 

And the amazing thing is, we have the life and light of Jesus within us by His Spirit. 

It shines with a radiance all of its own as we exchange our ashes for His beauty.

When I saw the topic Holley had given us this week {'You are you are'} I snorted derisively at myself,"Well that's one to miss. What do you know about looking or feeling beautiful?"

And I concede my ignorance.

Who would feel beautiful 'as they are' when most days they wear PJs, have bed-head, no make-up on, look exhausted and ill?

But I am learning.

Learning to silence the inner critic.

Learning to look in the mirror of His word and believe I am who God says I am.

Learning to rise up and refuse to receive any derogatory labels (self-imposed or otherwise), pigeon-holing or negative comments.

And, friend, it's hard work. It's a battle each and every day to have our minds transformed. But it's also worthwhile.

Because if we believe the lie that we are less-than, ugly, worthless, failures, then the enemy is winning the battle in our minds.

God wants us to have that mind in us which is also in Christ Jesus, and that includes seeing ourselves through His eyes as our minds are gradually renewed.

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder. 

Well, guess who is beholding and pronouncing you beautiful, just as He has since He planned for you to be here? No less a person than God Himself.

We are far more than our appearance suggests. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

Our inner beauty? What does that look like? 

A spirit surrendered to God is eternally youthful, ageless, beautiful.

Giving out a glow to warm other hearts and lives. 

A light to dispel darkness.

A heart beating in tune with the One who made us.

An offering of hope, grace and encouragement to others.

And who wouldn't want to be beautiful like that? I know I would.

Accept, believe and receive it, my friend:"You are you are"

Joining here with Holley and Jennifer. 


  1. And this offering is beautiful, Joy. I'm especially drawn to the words that flow from your heart and pen today because this is my word for the year. You have spoken to my soul today and for that I am grateful ...

    1. Linda, if I can speak to and encourage another soul then that is so worthwhile and all I aim to achieve here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am grateful. Blessings :) x

  2. Wow - what a beautiful reminder! Thank you so very much for sharing - I especially love the photo of the little one. We really are fearfully and wonderfully made! *hugs to you*

    1. Thank you, Ginger. I love the photo too ~ he's my beloved grandson! And he is such a glorious reminder of being fearfully and wonderfully made. Blessings and *hugs* to you :) x

  3. Oh learning to silence the inner critic is SO hard isn't it? This post was beautiful and an encouragement to me to do the same! Especially now as a mom to a girl...I don't ever want her to feel she isn't good enough because I never thought I was good enough either!!

    1. Kristin, it's a daily battle for me and hard for most of us. Your daughter will grow up knowing how loved and special she is, and that will go a long way toward helping her develop a positive and healthy self-esteem. Though as a mother of sons, I can vouch that it isn't exclusively a female problem. We are all prone to it in certain situations.
      May you enjoy loving and caring for your precious little one and know how blessed she is to have a great mother like you. Blessings :) x

  4. Hi Joy.

    Thank you for your post searching for God's truth about who we are in His eyes.

    I am working on a series at the moment about thoughts we can struggle with too.

    I think you are beautiful my friend.

    1. Thanks, Anita. It's really needful to see ourselves as God sees us, but our minds require Holy Spirit renewal for that to happen. Your new series sounds intriguing! Blessings, my friend :) x

  5. The lying voices can be so very loud
    and I choose, again and yet again
    to listen to One voice that matters
    the One Who knows me, loves me
    loves us all

    1. So true, Karin. It is a conscious choice to listen to "the One voice that matters, the One who knows me, loves me.." And this year, with my #oneword365 being 'listen', I aim to do it more diligently than before. For God's voice is the only one that speaks direct to our souls. Thanks very much for stopping by! I am blessed to have met and connected with you. :) x

  6. Beautiful post Joy! (No pun intended). I'm hosting a friend of mine on Thursday who writes about this same topic. I know it's something we women struggle with. Thank you for pointing us to the One who calls us beautiful! God bless!

    1. Thank you, Maria. It is definitely "something we women struggle with" and a huge problem for many. Once we truly grasp how God sees us, then we are able to view ourselves more positively as well. Bless you for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment! :) x