January 27, 2011

Who are You to Tell Me I'm Beautiful?

I apologize for not posting in so long. I've been really packed with school and also I spiritually I need prayer.

This was written by someone I know, and they were fine with their name being placed for credit, so if you'd like to every repost this, please give credit :).

Who are You to Tell Me I’m Beautiful?

By: Carolyn Diez

A few years ago before I really committed my life to Jesus, I was a jerk. Honestly, God has been very merciful and gracious to help turn my life around. I was rude, I lived on gossip, and I focused on what other people thought I should be. I was very insecure, so I tried to make other people insecure about themselves too, so I could feel better about myself. I knew people who were real about themselves, but I only strived for superficial.

I think what encouraged this horrible me, was the people I hung around. They weren’t awful, but they certainly brought me down spiritually. Everything they looked for was image. I grew up being mostly a tomboy, and with a lot of siblings, and with my dad being a pastor we’ve never had a lot of extra money to spend on trendy clothes or hair.

Well that’s what these kids were about. They were all about how you looked, how you dressed and who you hung out with. They were like the queen bees, and they would cast you out of their group if you did NOT fit in. Well no one was really sure that I fit in. I was good friends with a couple of them, I was nice to them, and I trash talked the people who weren’t a part of them, but did I really fit in?

The obvious answer (mostly to anyone who knew me from back then) is that I didn’t. At all. I was desperate for attention and admiration… and I wanted to feel good about myself. It didn’t click that God was the only One who could fill me up with joy and self-worth. These kids made me feel left out when I couldn’t shop at the same stores or wear the trendy clothes… They trash talked with me behind other peoples’ backs, and trash talked me with other people behind MY back. I never had the same bag as them, or my hair was never styled (--in fact, it was in a pony-tail most of the time), they told me I would be prettier with this and with that. I never wore makeup and my clothes were “too modest” at times. They indirectly stated that they were “beautiful” and I was not.

So a year later, after always coming home crying and never feeling pretty, God gave me a lot of amazing experiences; things and people who never judged me on how I looked. They took everything from my personality and faith and assumed it was who I was/am. That year I really started to commit my life to Jesus and I knew I need new friends. So I prayed to God that He would give me new friends that were striving to grow spiritually and wouldn’t be into all the junk the other ones were into…

But, of course, the newly Christ-committed person I was, wandered around looking for these friends on my own, instead of giving the search completely to God. The new friends I found were “nice”. They told me I was “SO PRETTY” and that I fit in with them. They made me feel good about how I looked and how I acted, but the gossip I had been a part of was even worse, and the trash talk seemed to be non-stop. But I seemed to be okay… No one really said anything bad about me… They had actually praised me and treated me like one of them. They had invited me to their parties and welcomed my participation. But only because it made THEM feel good about THEMselves, I realized. I looked just like them, and I acted just like them. Together we were ‘one’ for ourselves, and even though we spoke of Him, we were not FOR Him. As soon as I realized I didn’t want to be a part of something that was not FOR God, it was easy for them not to accept me, not to talk well of me, and to make me feel like a traitor.

Well that’s too bad for them, I told myself. While this process had been going on, God had started placing life-changing, life-valuable, and life-long friendships in my way. They weren’t strong at first… In fact, they were undesirable. But when I completely gave my friendships to God and He gave me noticeable changes of friends, you could tell their “worth.” You could see their love and their own starting passion for God.

They didn’t pull me down spiritually, and in their own ways supported me and helped me to become stronger in the Lord. They weren’t perfect, but neither was I. The only thing that mattered to them was your heart. How we lived our lives out for God and for each other was what mattered. These people were truly beautiful. In fact, I had never seen people as beautiful as the newly found friends I had. They seemed to glow for God and for each other. Weight wasn’t counted, specific eye/hair/skin color wasn’t specifically desired, and in fact, none of the closest of us looked the same. Our hearts matched though, and that’s what brought us together, and hopefully forever.

I was once of the world, and that’s where I found my only temporary happiness. Now, being completely of and FOR God, (of course still a sinful being), my happiness only resides in the continuing joy of the Lord, through friends and family.

The changes/differences are this:

In the dictionary, made by a worldly man, ‘beautiful’ is defined as –

— ‘having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind.’

— ‘excellent of its kind’

‘Beauty’ is defined as –

– ‘the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)’

Other than that TINY, little, bitty ending, how horrible are these definitions of beauty and being beautiful???

THIS is how GOD defines beautiful:

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,

But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”—Proverbs 31:30.

This passage should be clear enough… But it’s not just for women, I see it in men too… Men who are looked up to for their looks and charm, who don’t seem to fear or display God in their lives are totally unattractive. I know that when I see a man, (young or old), that display God’s love, no matter what background or situation they’re in, I can’t HELP but look up to them and admire them. I know I’m not the only one.

”Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;

And confirm for us the work of our hands;

Yes, confirm the work of our hands.”—Psalm 90:17

God doesn’t favor our outward beauty, but we want Him to be rejoiced with our actions. Actions that come from love, His love, which is the most pure and beautiful thing in the entire world.

”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able

to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”—Romans 12:2.

Once again, such a clear and commanding passage…

Our world seems to be living in this contest. Every person we meet has a ranking, and one of you is going to be higher than the other or just about the same. The rankings are categorized spiritually, mentally, popularity, kindness, etc; anything that makes you a somebody. The world always has a new trend and look, and every time we reach that lifestyle and/or look, no matter how we get there, the world throws a new look or lifestyle at us. This world is sin, and sin has standards, and every time we meet those standards, they rise higher. We’re expected to follow the expectations from sin, and LIVE it out.

People we’re intimidated by seem far higher than we are, but in reality, God’s just waiting for us to live our lives not for people but for Him. I know that this past year I’ve been intimidated by a few people because they seem SO much more prettier and stronger and everything to the more extreme than I am, and they’ve looked down on me as if it were true. Looks and lifestyles are HIS because He made US to worship Him.

I wish kids these days realized that as long as they live their lives out for God, they’ll have so much more admiration and encouragement. But it’s not to take away the fact that we are persecuted for our faith and how we walk in our faith.

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to

the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:19.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

—Matthew 5:11.

But we have encouragement…

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord

Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”—Acts 20:24.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is

undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,

after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be

the power forever and ever. Amen. “—1 Peter 5:8-11.

I hope you enjoyed :).
Posting soon.