Eye of the Beholder


“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

Being a woman of “a certain age” can take its toll on self-esteem as aging becomes more apparent. These days, I find myself either avoiding the mirror completely, or getting a little too up-close-and-personal with it, horrified as I examine every wrinkle and spot in harsh 10X-magnified detail. I have to admit that my vanity has tempted me to take measures beyond just good skin care. Not long ago, if I mentioned Botox or fillers, people would say things like, “What are you talking about? You look great!” Now, if they are truthful, they are more likely to express...understanding...but as usual, I am my own worst critic. I guess it really is true…beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Why is it we tend to accept what our culture dictates as beautiful, yet have such a hard time believing what our loved ones and the Bible tell us? Of course, it is in the interest of the multi-billion dollar beauty industry to make us believe we need their help so we will spend our hard-earned money on their products. The Bible says God doesn’t look at our outward appearance, but our hearts. Even though our hearts are not on public display, our faces tend to reflect what they contain. How many times have you looked at someone and just known they were an unhappy or unloving person?

It occurred to me recently that whenever I tell my mirror’s reflection that I am not good enough, I am disparaging what God has made. Who am I to mess with His creation? And why am I more concerned with what other people see than what God sees in me? Even though the mirror is an accurate reflection of my face, my eyes and mind are the filters through which I see myself, and everyone knows our eyes and minds can deceive us. So, I guess I had better concentrate on having a beautiful heart. Focusing more on God than myself certainly helps me forget about my momentary concerns with superficial beauty. In fact, if I could just see myself through my Father’s eyes – perfect and unblemished, washed clean by the blood of Jesus – I would be more focused on the things that concern Him. His opinion really is all that matters, after all.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for loving me and seeing me through the perfection of Jesus’ blood. Help me to see myself through Your eyes instead of this world’s idea of “beauty”. Lord, whenever I am tempted to “go beyond” in my beauty regimen, help me remember to be a better steward of all You have given me, and help me want-to-want to do things Your way, letting nature take its course. In Jesus’ name, I ask that You would break the stronghold of vanity in my life and set me free from worrying about the opinions of others and my own harsh self-assessment. Help me focus on You and allow the beauty of Your Holy Spirit to shine through me. Beautify my heart and soul so that I reflect Your beauty into the lives of those around me. When others see me, let them be drawn to You instead of seeing my outward appearance. I love You, praise You and thank you for the beauty of Your loving presence in my life in Jesus’ name, amen.

Additional scriptures:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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

“You know that a price was paid to redeem you from following the empty ways handed on to you by your ancestors; it was not paid with things that perish (like silver and gold), but with the precious blood of the Anointed, who was like a perfect and unblemished sacrificial lamb.” - 1 Peter 1:18-19

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” - Proverbs 16:31-32

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