The Overflow

living in the overflow of God's goodness through every season

Defining Beauty

BeautyCassidy Shooltz2 Comments

In our culture, it seems outward beauty always makes the "ten most important things every girl must have" list. Many women have become obsessed with having the most beautiful appearance, trendy clothes, and perfect hair. They would rather have a certain social status than think about their heart status. Webster's Dictionary defines beauty as: "Loveliness; good looks; pleasing, attractive person or thing." In contrast, how does God's word define beauty?

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
— 1 Peter 3:3-4
Photo Credit: Melissa Neuverth

Photo Credit: Melissa Neuverth

When we think of beauty, the latter definition should come to mind.  This verse does not say it is wrong to look beautiful on the outside (God is the creator of outward beauty!), but it is a reminder that we need to have our mindset in check, as it was when God sent Samuel to select a new king over Israel - “When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” David, the youngest guy in the family, who took care of the sheep, he was God’s choice for king.

Biblical beauty really isn’t about us at all - it’s about the incredible beauty of our Creator. He is the most beautiful of all, and He wants to shape us into His likeness, that we might be truly beautiful.  As Charles Spurgeon once said: “If any soul has any such beauty... Christ has endowed that beloved soul with all its wealth of charms, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled… There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us.”

Questions to think about:

  • Do you define beauty as Scripture does?
  • Have you allowed beauty to become an idol in your life? When you’re headed to church, going to school, or driving to your friend’s house do you worry about being accepted by friends or others? If so, what steps should you take to change?
  • Do you base your opinion of others on what they wear or how they look?