I read a story the other day that initiated some thought from me. It was written by a friend who has committed to not wearing make-up throughout the entire month of November. She said her reason for doing it was to test herself – to see if she truly believes that her personhood is more valuable than her appearance. A re-examining of her thoughts. She then made this comment: “I want to change what I believe about beauty so I can more readily see it in others.” I admire her for doing this, it’s a mindset that I myself have been praying for, asking the Lord to help me establish in my own soul. Scripture says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How often does that last part not register? As yourself.
I always want to be a better people-lover. Unconditional, expressive, sincere love. Like Jesus did. But like the verse says, how I love myself is how I am going to love others. Loving people well is rooted in how I see myself, which is an interesting correlation to me.
And determining how I see myself can only be found in the reality of who God is. I must fully trust and believe that God was being truthful when He saw my form and said that it was very good. When I view myself, through eyes of grace, I will see an image-bearer. A bearer of God’s image. How much more wonderful is that perspective than just seeing a girl with really curly hair and green eyes!
My friend also made this remark, which I find so true and profound: “I can’t ask others to tear down their walls unless I begin the hard work of removing mine, brick by brick.” I am the type of person who loves conversation. I am passionate about communicating with people, hearing their hearts and their stories. But her statement is true; I cannot expect someone to reveal their soul — the good and the bad, the easy and the heard, the learning and the observing — unless I do it first.
She is more precious than rubies. She is beautiful, heart and soul, because she bears the image of God, out of which she loves and champions the people around her.