This summer has afforded me the ability to actually enjoy some reading time. One of my favorite hobbies, reading always spurs me on to deeper spiritual growth. I wish I would have more free time to dig into all the books on my shelves! Since I know many of you readers have limited time, every so often I will share on this blog some of my top picks. I mean, who wants to pick up a book and find out that it's lousy and you've wasted your precious moments? The ladies over at girltalk blog have done a fabulous job with their book True Beauty. Nothing impresses me more than when someone takes a familiar subject and illuminates it with the Truth of God and causes me to think completely differently (and biblically) about it! That's precisely what Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre have done in their concise and easy-to-read book.
Initially, I thought this book would be important only for women who struggled with vanity. Those women who thought about their beauty all the time or were obsessed with their hair or clothes or makeup. Sure, that kind of thing is addressed here, but it is so much more. In fact, the authors took this well-known subject--a subject so focused on me, and you and her, and that celebrity and the older lady who used to have it, and the younger teen who is awkward in it--and turns it exactly where it belongs: to the Lord. "True beauty is to behold and reflect the beauty of God." (p. 35)
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple. Psalm 27: 4
When we take the focus off of ourselves, even when we're being well meaning ("You are beautiful because God made you!"), and put the focus upon the One who is Beautiful...well, that changes everything!
I'll be honest with you. This area has been a real struggle for me during my lifetime. I'm often amazed how I can flip-flop between feeling gorgeous and ugly as a troll all within a matter of moments. It's true and I would venture to say that some of you have felt the same way. But, even if you haven't, our culture has done its job very well and it has likely molded its own version of beauty in your brains.
Put aside some time this summer to read this short book. Whether it's an outward issue for you, an inward beauty issue (do you have that whole "gentle and quiet spirit thing" down pat?), or an issue that your friend is struggling with, it would do you well to meditate on true beauty because "the gospel of Jesus Christ really does redeem everything, including beauty." (p. 23)