by Sharon Tubbs
Authentically beautiful and powerful
When you look in the mirror, do you see beauty?
Not that Barbie doll beauty or the stuff of magazines. That’s all touched-up and glossed over. I mean authentic beauty—the beauty that comes straight from the mind of God. This beauty reveals itself in your smile, your gentleness, or the compassion in your eyes.
Do you see it?
I asked myself that question one day before preparing to speak at A Beautiful Weekend. The theme I’d chosen for the retreat: the Authentic Woman. I wanted to talk about our ideal “beauty,” but as I looked at a photo of myself on Facebook, I realized that I didn’t see that true, authentic beauty in myself. Instead of embracing the image before me, I zeroed in on my flaws—the bags under my eyes and the crow’s feet, the pimple the wide nose. I sensed the Holy Spirit interrupting my thoughts: Uh, Miss Authentic Woman? The lady in the photo who you keep criticizing, that’s you… Don’t you appreciate my handiwork?
I knew I needed to get real, not just with the ladies at retreat, with myself!
But how? With all my shortcomings—thin hair, cellulite, impatience, procrastination—how could I embrace the present-day me?
How can you?
First, believe what God says about you, about beauty.
God has made us all one-of-a-kind, but we don’t appreciate His craftsmanship because we judge ourselves by the wrong standards. Society has convinced us that it’s bad to be our unique selves, to think, look, or behave differently from the celebrities on TV or “friends” on Facebook. That’s not what God says. He says we are His marvelous works (Psalm 139:14). He says we are His masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10). And He warns us not to focus more on hiding our pimples and crow’s feet than we do on becoming better women on the inside.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
See yourself through the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, none of us is perfect. We may need to calm our tempers, practice patience, or lose a few pounds. Still, God already knows that and thinks of us as His works of art. We have to see ourselves the way He does. The Holy Spirit inside of us allows us to do that. Like contact lenses, the Spirit sharpens our spiritual vision by helping us see clearly our God-given gifts and authentic beauty. Look up 1 Corinthians 2:12-14. It says that, through the Spirit, we comprehend and appreciate the gifts God has given us. Without the Spirit all this talk about authentic beauty sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook.
“But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him…” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (AMP)
*When you get a quiet moment alone, pray and ask God to help you see and understand yourself through the eyes of the Spirit.
Know that God has empowered you.
Stop feeling powerless, like life is happening to you rather than through you. By definition, power means to have authority, bring about change, or influence others. True power belongs to God. (One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God…” –Psalm 62:11) He gives believers a measure of that power to influence those around us and impact the world for His glory.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NLT)
We use God’s authentic power when we encourage others, live as examples, exercise our authority in ways that help people see their own beauty in Christ. We use power when we draw from the strength we’ve gained in overcoming life’s trials to inspire someone else. That’s authentic power from an authentically beautiful woman.
When you look in the mirror, is that what you see?
Sharon Tubbs works with the Women’s Ministry at Grace Family Church. She is also an inspirational speaker, author and business owner. As she continually strives to reach her potential in Christ, Sharon’s joy comes from inspiring others to do the same by truly seeking and knowing Him.