Beauty is subjective; the definition changes depending on where and when you live. I’m your average-looking white girl, there’s nothing particularly striking about my looks. I am average and that’s okay. I don’t tan, I burn in the sun, so I will always be a Casper-esque shade of white, my freckles being the only pigment I have. Here in America, I’m nothing special but I remember the first time I was called “beautiful” when I was 15 years old.
I was in the Philippines on a missions trip and, while a group of us were walking through one of the villages, I was suddenly surrounded by a group of children. The kids kept touching my skin and calling me “beautiful”; it was rare for them to see anyone as pale as I am and that’s what their culture considers beautiful.
I begin there to illustrate the subjectivity of this concept of beauty. Our culture is consistently telling us and showing us and selling us on how to be beautiful.
Buy this product, it’ll stop you from aging.
Look at this celebrity, they are the standard of beauty.
This woman is absolutely beautiful and you can look like her too!
While the world is putting these exquisite beauties on a pedestal, I wonder what’s happening inside of them.
Are they lonely?
Are they anxious and stressed?
Are they starving themselves to be a certain size?
Are they numb and hopeless inside?
YOUR BEAUTY DOESN’T COME FROM THE OUTSIDE BUT RADIATES FROM THE INSIDE.
Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. She was a girl who, though she was scared and knew she might die, used her influence to speak up for others -- talk about life goals! I encourage you to take some time this week to read through and meditate on this amazing story!
It all starts with a drunk king who wanted to show off his queen to his drinking buddies. He had been partying with his friends for seven days so he was primed for an emotional reaction if she didn’t obey perfectly. She refused to come, he lost his cool, and he banned her from his presence. This drunken king’s overreaction set the stage for an entire group of people to be saved … but we’ll save that topic for another time.
After King Xerxes cooled off, one of his servants suggested a solution for his lack of a queen problem:
“Let’s begin a search for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint officials in every province of his kingdom to bring every beautiful young virgin to the palace complex of Susa and to the harem run by Hegai, the king’s eunuch who oversees the women; he will put them through their beauty treatments. Then let the girl who best pleases the king be made queen in place of Vashti.” (Esther 2:2-4, MSG)
And, as you may have surmised, Esther was in this group of beautiful girls brought to the palace. Can you picture what this looked like? It was basically America’s Next Top Model: Susa Edition. Beautiful girls were all around, yet Esther found immense favor in the eyes of the staff.
“When the king’s order had been publicly posted, many young girls were brought to the palace complex of Susa and given over to Hegai who was overseer of the women. Esther was among them. Hegai liked Esther and took a special interest in her. Right off he started her beauty treatments, ordered special food, assigned her seven personal maids from the palace, and put her and her maids in the best rooms in the harem. Esther didn’t say anything about her family and racial background because Mordecai had told her not to.” (Esther 2:8-10, MSG)
Esther was as outwardly beautiful as all the other girls but she stood out from the crowd to Hegai not because of her looks but because of her character.
“Esther, just as she was, won the admiration of everyone who saw her.” (Esther 2:15, MSG)
What do you carry inside of you? Do you display God to the world with your actions? Are your words sweet and uplifting to those who hear them? Do you bring joy or peace or light to situations?
Beauty is far more than just what’s happening on the outside, but comes from the inside. Knowing who you are and whose you are is one of the most beautiful qualities one can possess.
YOU, YES YOU, ARE CLOTHED WITH STRENGTH AND DIGNITY.
You can’t muster up this level of strength and dignity on your own, but they are deeply ingrained in you because of the God Who loves you. You know who you are in Him.
YOUR POSITION IS STRONG AND SECURE.
You’re not welcomed into God’s presence because of your performance but because of your position as His precious daughter. You are rooted in Christ and His love -- your position is unshakeable because of Him!
YOU CAN SMILE AT YOUR BRIGHT FUTURE.
Smile, girl! Your God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die in your place so He could have relationship with you. You are His prize and you are His joy. This life can be hard, tragedy and loss happens, but even in the midst of that, we can smile a genuine smile because of our God Who loves us so deeply.
CONFIDENTLY KNOWING THAT YOU ARE PREPARED.
Your God goes before you and prepares a way for you. You have the strength and opportunity to prepare yourself for the future. It’s a pleasure to prepare, knowing it’s not all dependent upon you. Start living today as if you were living the future you’ve dreamed of, knowing that the Lord is with you and is going before you.
God created you and you are beautiful. And I’m not just saying that to make you feel good, I’m saying it because it’s true. You are an exquisite representation of God to the world! He’s placed His love and His joy within you, giving you the opportunity to share with others.
Now, girl, go out and be your truest, most beautiful self!