Wednesday, August 8, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Beauty

LIFE LESSON: Beauty
by Christine Clippinger

Having lived and traveled around the U.S. and the world, I am intrigued by what other people and cultures see as beautiful. I'm even more intrigued by the beauty that we fail to see...in our surroundings, in the physical appearance of others, in society. We are surrounded by so much beauty that often goes unnoticed or is seen only superficially.

The more I look at life through the lens of scripture, the more beauty I see. In prayer, I became acutely aware of the overwhelming beauty of the cross. We see it as a symbol of Christ's perfect beautiful sacrifice for us, but to those witnessing Christ's persecution and death, the cross must have appeared ugly, grotesque.

When I reflect on my life prior to Christ, I realize how absolutely clueless I was to the beauty of His sacrifice, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I was ugly before I knew Christ; my attitudes did not honor God or me. I could not see the true beauty in others or myself. I now know how God sees me, how he has forgiven my sins, and how he has the power to transform ugliness that lingers within me. Truly, the only beauty that exists in me is because of Him who died for me.

As women, we are bombarded with messages that to be socially acceptable...our skin, hair, teeth, face, figure, clothing, cars... must be perfect, beautiful. The better we fit this mold, the more we are supposedly revered by society.  At the same time, society portrays an image of absolute ugliness in the way we are to act. 'Bad girls', those who are spoiled, sexually promiscuous, spend Daddy's money to get anything they want, 'bridezillas': these are the new norm.  At least they are paraded before us to make us feel better about our own faults. The logic is, "If I'm not that bad, then I must be okay! Right?"

Wrong! They are not our standard of measure! Size yourself up by reading these scriptures:


"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov. 31:30)."

"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 (1 Pet. 3: 3-4)."

As brides of Christ, we must actively promote God's standard of beauty. Let's agree to be His example, to share our experiences. Teach younger women and girls (women of the future) that Christ’s beauty is the only beauty that brings peace and balance to life.  Let's honesly ask  ourselves,


"Do I spend my time running, frantically shopping in a quest to fill my house and closet? Or have I found the beauty of kneeling quietly in prayer for the love that will fill my heart and reveal my inner beauty?"

I want to seek the beautiful plan God has prepared for me. I want to feel beautiful in Him who, in the midst of so much pain and ugliness, beautifully gave up his life for me. I'm praying that you will join me!

"Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? 
What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met (Matt. 6:28-33MSG).




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Christine Whitehead Clippinger is a former Navy Engineering Aid, Commercial Interior Designer, Homeschool Educator, and Decorative Painter from Springfield, MA. Christine currently enjoys studying the Bible, watercolor painting, photography, volunteering as a Budget Counselor for Hillcrest Transitional Housing, and being a student of life with an undeclared major.

She currently resides in Kansas City, MO with Mike, her best friend and husband of 25 years, and Max, her enthralling cat of 11 years. Christine and Mike have two adult children, Chelsea and Alex. 
She is a Woven Woman: A Woman of Virtue! 




3 comments:

  1. My sweet friend Christine...if only others could know Christ as we do, to live with the simplicity enjoying the true natural beauty around us, to go with God's flow and not stress over society's expectations of us. Your words said it perfectly. What a blessing to are to us Woven Women! SallyAnne Trissel

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  2. That is absolutely a fabulous post, Christine! You have such a gift for expressing spiritual truths in a way that is completely understandable and yet profound. Thank you so much for sharing the things you've learned through your attentiveness to the Holy Spirit.

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  3. Thanks Christine for another "beautiful" post! So grateful for you!
    ~Cindy

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