Reflections on My Day - Do Looks Truly Matter?

by Grace 9. January 2018 20:41

It happened again.

Somebody told me I look nice today.

For years, just about wherever I've gone I've always been told that I was pretty. I've heard it from old and young, boys, girls, family, and friends - "You're so pretty!" "I love your hair!" "You have such a pretty smile!" "You're so thin!" "Your eyes are so blue - are those contacts???"

It's not necessarily a bad thing. I love hearing my Grandma, my mom, or my dad tell me things like that. And I like hearing my family and friends tell me I did a good job with my hair or things along those lines. But sometimes, I actually rather dislike it.

Some of you may be asking why on earth, but maybe some of you understand. For those of you who don't, let me explain.

I've often wondered when people have told me I'm pretty, "Why does it matter?" I haven't done anything to look the way I do. I've never tried losing weight - I still remember feeling thrilled whenever I gained more weight when I was younger. I didn't do anything to get blue eyes. We're still not even precisely sure where I got them from. I didn't give myself long, dark brown hair that went from waves towards the top and curls at the bottom. It was just there. I haven't done anything to get the face I have - I've never even worn makeup before. It's a gift from God, to be sure, I didn't do anything to get my looks and can't really do a substantial amount to make it any better - so what's the use in complementing my looks because they line up with the world's standards of pretty? I mean, it's not an evil thing, but it can be useless and oftentimes excessive.

And I know that it can be discouraging to me because I daily strive to be more like Jesus and more focused on Him - I try to be a better sister, more humble, more diligent, more patient, more graceful, more enduring, and many other things. And after working so hard, the only encouragement I get is, "Your eyes are so pretty!" Perhaps I was grumpy when my sibling did something annoying, but at least I have pretty eyes, right??? Again, it's not necesarily a bad thing for people to tell me my eyes are pretty, but I tend forget their comment pretty quickly. It doesn't mean much to me anymore.

The things that really stick to me are things like when a lady at the school walked by and said, "doing a good job, as always!" or when she said "as always, wearing a smile!" Or when my sisters say they love having an older sister. Or when my friend and coworker tells me I'm her 'Saving Grace' because I gave her an umbrella and an extra coat while we were working in the cold and rain. Or when somebody at the fair comes by after I've dealt with a tough visitor and tells me that I'm doing a great job and to keep wearing a smile. Or when my parents tell me they're proud of me for paying for college by myself. That's what matters most to me in my life. Our looks don't matter - God looks at and cares about the inside of us, not the outside. And He doesn't flatter us about our blue eyes and big smiles. He's more pleased when He sees a faithful heart, and we should be too.

And you know what? Most people who are praised for their looks probably already know. Before you told them that they had beautiful hair, an slender waistline, or a handsome face, they'd been told a million times - perhaps they begin to act like me sometimes, wearing sunglasses and a hat when I work at the fair so that people take me a little more seriously. Or they feel vain and proud for something that was a gift, not their own doing. There are some people who need to be told that they're beautiful - that God made them the way they are and they're precious to Him.

But the people who are beautiful in the World's standard don't need to hear it.

It'll bounce off of them, or they'll feel vain, or perhaps, like me, they'll simply ponder why it matters. If anything, some of us just need to be reminded that it's the heart that matters and not our appearance.

My looks aren't a talent. They're a gift. And, although I'm not mad when people tell me I'm pretty, I'd rather hear their encouragement or even their criticism - what I could be doing better in my Christian walk.

Next time you think to tell someone that they're pretty or handsome, stop to think if you have some encouragement for them or if there's a way to compliment their behavior.

And next time you're told that you look nice, tell them that it's a gift from God and that they look beautiful too.

 

Now let's hear from you!

Do YOU ever feel this way? Have you ever wondered why it mattered? What are some of your suggestions on things you can encourage friends in instead of telling them that they're pretty?

 

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Finals Exams/Fear and Anxiety

by Grace 13. November 2017 21:35

Hey everyone!

I'm starting my quarter finals test tomorrow (for those of you who don't know, I'm a student of Oak Brook College of Law (OBCL.edu)). My quarter finals exams will consist of four 2-hour exams, two tomorrow, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. And for the record, one of my greatest fears is timed tests.

But I thought I'd just hop up here and let y'all know that even when we're facing our worst fears, we can lean on Jesus and HE can relieve us of our fears.

In reality, having fear is a sign of lack of trust. Let's say you went to the doctors and they said that you had a disease and that they would need to operate on you for you to get better. But you cry, "No way! That's just plain CREEPY! You're not cutting into me! That's terrifying! I don't care if you drug me to sleep first! I'm afraid!" The doctor shakes his head and says, "you don't trust me, do you? Well, if this is the way it's going to be, you're just going to have to deal with this issue that's cutting away at you."

Folks, anxiety is a sign that we're not trusting God enough, and as a result, that fear will be used by the devil to cut away at our souls. And I can attest to that; I'm still scared to death. But when I pray about it, the Great Physician begins His operation I start to feel better. However, if I don't let go, the pain of fear drains me so that I'm not as efficient for the purpose God has created me for.

Now, fear is something that takes time to rid yourself of. In fact, we cannot be fully immune to the temptations (yes, temptation -- a lack of trust in God is a SIN) of fearing and not trusting God until we get to heaven and are fully sanctified in His presence. But it's something to work on, and letting go of your fears and leaving all in God's care is glorifying to Him.

So for all of you who are like me, shaking in your shoes and wondering what to do and how to do and where to do and what to do and then realizing your muddled brain is going in circles, cast your cares upon the Lord and put your best effort in for the glory of God. Give Him your all.

Eccl. 9:10

Blessings and Prayers for you all!

 

Now let's hear from you!

What struggles and challenges have you been facing that cause you to fear? What are some of the Bible verses you refer to when you're fearful, stressed, and anxious? What is your reaction when frightening things come up - praying or panic?

For those of you who haven't seen yet, check out my new 'About' page on the sidebar!

 

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