- Al Michaels
*Disclaimer: I am learning this lesson too. I am number one at looking in the mirror and not fully content with what I see. I was full of jealousy for my whole life, wishing I could look like other girls. I always thought that if I only had a boyfriend, I would feel pretty or what not. So when I say "girls" "them" "you" or whatever, know this is not me judging them. Cause I am talking to myself as well.
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised"
I know plenty of girls who love this verse. They put it on their facebook or in their bathrooms or room or whatever. They talk about how true it is and how they want to be that fearful woman of God. Then, in 5 minutes they are looking in the mirror complaining about something they don't like on their face. Or just calling themselves ugly/fat, etc, or they are ripe with jealousy. This society chases beauty like no other. Beauty is the prize. If I could just be beautiful, then I would be happy. It's what we all think. But, if you look back at this verse. It says beauty is vain (or in other translations it says "fleeting").
Let me back up for a second. I've been trying to kind of... re-build my foundation of what I believe or what not. Taking out the lies that I am ugly, stupid, not good enough... whatever junk I said. And replacing them with what God had said. I told someone that if a thought comes in your head that doesn't sound like something Jesus would say to you, then it is probably a lie from the devil. She then asked me where in the Bible it says "you are pretty" or whatever. And I was like, "Well... I am sure it's somewhere." So, I went to my Bible, obvs... looked up in the concordance 'beautiful' and 'beauty' was there too. So... I stared looking at the verses. Most of them were kinda irrelevant (I mean, to the subject of us being beautiful. They are relevant to other things though, cause they are in the Bible.) And I found some good you know... you are precious verses. Or what not. BUT, I also found 2 verses, the first being the famous Proverbs one, and another from James.
"For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits."
Anyways... and I realized that when we chase so hard after being beautiful, we miss Jesus. I mean, not necessarily. But... it's something that distracts us. It's like money, in that sense. And another thing I realize is beauty, like every other thing, perishes. If we chase after beauty, and even gain it... it's going to go away. When we die, even before we die, beauty passes. It's not everlasting, it's not eternal, and it's not what we should base our life pursuing.
The verse is true. Those who fear after the Lord are beautiful in his sight. And this is not saying that all Christians have to be ugly, or can't worry about how the look or what not. But, we need not be tied down by it! We need not be jealous, we need not be focused on being beautiful! Because, as believers, when God looks at our heart he sees Christ, and Christ is beautiful. Therefore, WE are beautiful.
Also, in the picture of Christ and his church being the Bride. I mean, we are the Bride. We are the most beautiful girl in her white dress on her wedding day that you could ever imagine. We ARE beautiful. And Jesus won't be able to take his eyes off of us on his wedding day. (I mean, techincally we won't be able to take our eyes of of HIM, since he's more beautiful...but you get my point.)
And, I mean, Song of Solomon (I could be wrong) is like a love song between Christ and his bride... and all through that He is just talking about how beautiful we are. As we are to Him.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says "He has made everything beautiful in its time." HE makes us beautiful. He is the reason we are beautiful.
Also, when the Lord does talk about beauty and whatnot, he usually is referring to the heart. In 1 Peter 3:4 Peter says, "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." We are precious in His sight, when our heart shines forth in a humble, beautiful manner. And you know the verse "God looks at the heart". Beauty is truly from the inside out. The heart truly does affect how the person "looks".
So, basically, we can't put our hope in beauty. We can't chase after it. It goes away. But, we can put our hope in Christ- who makes us beautiful.
I just went through my whole blog and deleted a bunch of them. Not that you would ever notice. I just... somethings I said. I don't know, I knew very little back then. But, thank God for progression! (Literally).
Anyways, I have never been good at blogging. But I will still blog when things come to my mind. Love yall guys.
One area in my life that has, I guess, brought me the most "pain" or whatever was friendships/relationships. But, I think this past summer God has been teaching me more about them. Well, not really. But showing me more my pride in how I reacted to friendships, and setting me free from some pain or whatever. I don't really know if that makes sense. But, I'll just start talking and hopefully it'll be clearer.
I used to always feel left out. Like, there was no way I was happy cause some friend was not involving me in every detail of their life. Or if I wasn't there number 1 friend, I was overcome with jealousy. A lot of these feelings I couldn't help, I would try to forget them... but they just took over my life. Even this past month there were some friends who really "hurt my feelings" because they were basically ignoring me. Now, it does hurt. Trust me. It's not fun being left out. Feeling not good enough. But, I have learned a lot in just this past month about all this. A lot of it was pride. In fact, 99% of it was my pride. I wanted people to be totally wrapped up in me, and that was the only way I was happy. Cause, let's be honest, it feels GREAT when you are included.
But, anyways, I started learning some stuff about it. And honestly, I'm not going to over-spiritualize it. Cause it's not really spiritual lessons I mean, I think God started opening my eyes up to my sin that was the driving force behind it... but yeah...
1. I learned that not everyone can be friends with everyone. So, "cliques" I believe are okay. And honestly, I think people overreact when they see a group of 5 girls or whatever sticking together. They immediately think they are exclusive and hate everyone else. When really, I just think, especially for believers, it's important to have a small group of really close friends. Not saying that if someone tries to approach you you exclude them, but... if no one is approaching, I don't think it's wrong if you aren't trying to make friends with every single person. As my mom put it, people don't run in packs of 20.
2. It's okay if friends hang out without you. The world will go on. This is something that isn't a spiritual thing I learned, but a fact that I had to come to grips with. Sometimes... things happen. People hang out without you. They don't hate you, they don't even don't want to spend time with you. Sometimes hangouts just happen without a specific plan, sometimes it's easier to do things with a smaller group, or maybe what you are doing is something that no one else would appreciate/understand. I would literally go crazy when I saw other people hanging out without me. Now, I feel like sometimes you just want to know why they didn't invite you when you're a simple phone call away, but... you are not going to be invited to every event ever. (and when I say you... I'm talking to myself really.) And I've learned that it's okay. My pride likes to slip in and sometimes it still stings, but I'm learning.
3. Sometimes you need to just include yourself. This is a little tricky, cause you don't want to over include yourself... but I always thought if they didn't ask you, to not kinda speak up. Like, if my friends were whispering I would freak out and just sit there silently not saying anything, when a simple "what are you talking about?" they would probably explain. And, again... not all the time. Sometimes you don't want to be nosy or what not. But, in some cases it's okay to jump in a picture without being asked, or jump in a circle of friends without the invite. A lot of times people want you there, they just... didn't say anything.
4. It's probably in your head. People leaving you out or excluding you have no idea they are doing it. Trust me. So, either they are just oblivious or it's just in your head. And sometimes, it's the latter. Sometimes they are leaving you out and you probably should say something... but, other times it's just you.
5. You won't be apart of every joke. Kinda like #2. Sometimes things happen and you missed it. So you won't be a part of that joke. I used to hate that. I would want to feel included in EVERY aspect of that other friendship. But, it's impossible. It's not them hating on me. It was my pride getting hurt cause people were wrapped up in me all the time. Trust me, you'll be a part of enough jokes to satisfy yourself.
There's probably more. It's really freeing when you realize that when the whole world isn't focused on you completely, doesn't mean they all hate you. It's sometimes hard for me cause I spent most of my life feeling worthless because people had other friends. Stupid, but true. One thing that helps: Jesus is ALWAYS available. He is ALWAYS my friend. He will ALWAYS have time for me, and he doesn't have to share the attention. We can sit and chat and laugh for HOURS and it's just me and him. He's mine. This all is bringing me to a place of more reliance and need for Jesus. He meets my needs. He truly does.
Just... some thoughts. Hopefully if you struggle with this too, you'll think about these things.