Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What the heck is inner beauty anyway????

Exactly 1 year and 4 days ago today, I started the Kimkins.com diet. I started it with the best of intentions, and even named my journal appropriately... "Ready to match my inner beauty".

Regardless of the hassles and dangers and craziness in the past year because of Kimkins.com the root of my journey still relies on just that... inner beauty.

While reading in my Bible the other day, I noticed that the "chapter heading" on The Message Translation in 1 Peter 3 said, "Cultivate Inner Beauty". I got my highlighter pen ready and devoured the words as if they were a krispy kreme donut!!! :)

Verses 1 thru 7 seem to be a message to wives and husbands. But, if you really read it closely you'll see an important message.
I'll post in both NIV and The Message translations:

1 Peter 3:4 NIV
Instead, 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".

The Message
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.

Later in vs. 6b it uses Sarah as an example.

You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

The Message
You'll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.

While the context is that of a wife married to an non-christian man... the actual descriptions are of INNER BEAUTY.

So... according to these few verses.. inner beauty is:
being gentle, kind, having a quiet spirit (unanxious), being brave (unafraid) and not intimidated!

We can have this inner beauty because the Lord is our confidence. (Proverbs 3:25) He will keep us safe and sound.

I have never looked at being unanxious or unitimidated as qualities to describe inner beauty... and yet, here it is in plain English.

And I recognize that the anxiety I have allowed to take a foothold in my life in the aftermath of the eating disorder called Kimkins.com is hindering me from cultivating my innermost desire.

Now, lets dig even deeper. Skip over the husband stuff.. and read on in 1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

The Message
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you. No exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless- that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

So, more examples of inner beauty for us all:
Be in harmony with one another!! That means, not squabbling or fighting or causing meaningless arguments. Not stubborn advancement for "self"

Be sympathetic- comfort those who are hurting
Be loving, compassionate, humble.

And, here is some of what NOT to do:
No retaliation! That means, no revenge.... not even with the tongue (using sarcasm or hurtful words)

And final we get blessings when we give blessings... and to quote Psalm 34:5 we have one more mention of inner beauty:
"Those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame"

I want to be radiant... not thin.
I want to cultivate inner beauty... not become worried and fixated on my outward appearance.

I now see that once again, the Word is the answer to all of my questions and I rest assured that while the Lord is my confidence, I will not fail at becoming the bride he intends me to be for Him. With a repentant heart, I can now seek that inner beauty with much more direction than I did last year.

I know where I can get some inner beauty for free!!!

He's already paid my fee, and made it possible for me to have all these qualities!!!