Capturing True Beauty in a Photoshopped World

Oct. 10, 2014 Blair Linne

Session Transcript

Blair Linne: Welcome. Welcome to this breakout session on "Capturing True Beauty in a Photoshopped World." My name is Blair, and I'm privileged to be able to stand before you and to share. I pray the time is encouraging. What I would like to do is just open up with a word of prayer. So if you would bow your heads with me.

Our gracious Father, Lord, we just come before You right now. We thank You that we're able to lean on You right now. Thank You so much for Your Word, which has gone forth throughout this conference and the ways in which You have ministered to our need and our hearts and the ways in which You have just challenged us and convicted us of our sin and given us an encouraging disposition toward repentance.

I just pray right now, Lord, as I begin to present this workshop or this breakout session on beauty, God, would You help us? Help us to be beautiful women how Your Scripture defines beauty. I just pray that You would break down any lies, any misconceptions, Father, that we have believed and help us, Lord, to hold fast to Your truth. And I pray this in Jesus' Name, amen.

Well, I wanted to share a story with you. I once had a pretty feisty roommate, and her name was Virgie. I lived with her for three years. She was ninety-one years old. And she was about four eleven in height. She had silver waist-length hair that I often would braid. And she was from Washington, D.C.

Well, this particular day I came home, and I found her watching infomercials on the television. And so I sat down next to her, which I often did to ask how things were going. And she looked at me, and she said, "What do you think about me getting a black wig and some wrinkle cream?"

And as she spoke, she glided her hands across her cheeks to create this instant facelift. And it was pretty amazing to have this conversation with her at the ripe age of ninety-one. Like I said, she was four eleven so she was at a place where she couldn't even see herself in her mirror in the bathroom.

But yet she had this desire. She wanted to be beautiful. And there was at the time about a seventy-year age difference between us. But the truth is we both were striving after the same thing-beauty. Now despite knowing that beauty goes beyond our skin's depth and that what we possess outwardly is wasting away, there is this desire to immortalize the physical.

So our eyes are often fixated upon this world and fixated upon temporal things. So rather than mature gracefully, we want to dye our roots, we want to straighten out our wrinkles. We dye it. Even corpses wear makeup. Even when we die we want to be remembered as beautiful.

I recently scanned several magazine covers, and this is what they told me I needed to have to be beautiful. The perfect hair and makeup, flat abs, a step-by-step guide to the best skin of my life, how to get sexy eyes (whatever that is), how to eat my way to gorgeous (what does that mean?), how to pick dress shoes and bags that will have them talking, and how to wake up gorgeous-the new no-fuss permanent makeup. I guess tattoos are in. Tattoo makeup is the new thing.

But you know we're all aware that on the cover of these magazines is often a photoshopped model or singer or actress. But they're photoshopped, and they are to be a model of what the magazine promises. And honestly sometimes I've thought, If only I could look like her or get skin like her, then I would be beautiful and I'll be happy.

And part of that reason is advertisers don't have women on their magazine covers who look miserable. They look like they're having a good time. And it's crazy. So $8 billion dollars are spent on cosmetics in the U.S. every year.

So I imagine that I am not the only one in this room who has fallen prey to some of these headlines. We live in a photoshopped world. We are constantly being dictated to by the mass media about who we need to be, how we need to look, what things we should value, what we need to spend our time on and our money on.

And in different countries the amazing thing is that this standard of beauty, it changes. It's superficial, so it shifts. So if we look in Indonesia, big feet are what's beautiful. In Thailand, it's elongated necks, so they put these rings on their necks to stretch them out as the women grow older.

And the Mauritanian tribe, I don't know how to pronounce that, it's a weight gain. So I was reading about this, and they send women off to these camps so that they would gain as much weight as they possibly can because that's what's looked at as beautiful in that culture.

In Kenya, it's long earlobes. They stretch out their earlobes. In Ethiopia, it's stretched lips. And in New Zealand, it's face tattoos. So it's very different depending upon where you are, which is amazing that we try to run after these superficial standards that we can never meet.

I mean we might meet it here in America and then we move to New Zealand and we're like, "I'm not beautiful here, because I don't have face tattoos."

So regardless of the culture, when we hear about beauty there is very little mention of our hearts. We hear the term it's what's on the inside that counts. What's inside. But we don't hear that when we look at our culture.

When we flip open a magazine or glance at an advertisement, we don't see commercials saying, "Do you want be godly and self-controlled?" [laughter] "Do you want to be loving and kind and beautiful?" The type of beauty that God exalts in His Word. No one is advertising the fruits of the Spirit when we turn on the TV.

And that's because the fruit of the Spirit is not what's selling in the world. It's crazy that the world knows our hearts. Even though the world would not acknowledge the idea of sin that the Bible speaks about, they do play on our covetousness. They do play on our sin. They know that we are covetous people.

Isn't it true that we all want to be beautiful? Isn't that true? We do! We want others to look at us and think, Man, she's attractive. She's beautiful. And honestlyI don't think that desiring to be beautiful is wrong. I do not think that. I think our definition of beauty is what's wrong.

So when we look at other women and we compare ourselves to other women because we are seeking the standard that is of the temporal, external, then it breeds covetousness and envy in our heart as we compare ourselves with others, which the Word tells us not to do.

But when we look to God and we look at His beauty and His virtue, it is a glorious thing-that type of beauty that God speaks of in His Word. And as we receive that through God, I believe it is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful thing.

So what I want to suggest is that God made us all with a desire to be beautiful since He Himself is beautiful. And we were made in His image to display Him and tell truth about Him to this world. But what's happened? Beauty has been ruined with these worldly definitions.

So before the fall there was no covetousness, no vanity, no self-centeredness. Eve was not comparing herself to anyone-well, there was no other woman to compare herself to. But she was not comparing herself. She didn't have to deal with feeling insecure about her looks. Or even the temptation to be thin-eating disorders-she didn't have to deal with that. There was no need for cosmetics, because she was completely content with how the Lord had made her as a fearful and wonderful woman.

I realize that many of you are struggling with many different things. I don't know all of the details. God knows the specific things that you are struggling with, and they're real issues.

So for example, I remember talking with a friend of mine just recently, a sister that I know, saying that she was struggling with the idea of beauty because her husband is struggling with pornography. And she wants to be beautiful for her husband and is afraid that he is going to be attracted to other women. So that is a real issue.

Maybe a single woman who is struggling and saying, "Well, the women who are being pursued in my church, they seem to be focused all on externals, and the guys are going after them and pursuing them into marriage." I've spoken to a single woman struggling with that- struggling to trust God to not give in to compromise herself, her convictions, for the sake of her strong desire to be married.

So there are a lot of different things. Ways in which women can struggle with their eating, for example. That was me. When I was nine years old, I started acting in the theater, and then eventually did commercials and did television. I remember I was working on a TV show in Vancouver and one of the people on the show mentioned another girl who I was working alongside with. "Oh, my goodness, she can fit into anything."

And there I began to believe the lies. "Hmmm. I can't fit into anything." And so I took that and ran with it. "Well, I need to lose weight to try to fit into this standard."

So what I started to do was diet, I mean strong diets, getting down to eating once a day and eventually just broke my body down. I remember I was shaking, having heart palpitations, stressed out. I remember my doctor was just like, "What's going on in your life?" It was a doctor who was trying to counsel me.

And I didn't even tell him all the details. But I had given myself trying to fit this standard. But I was just breaking down my body, destroying my body for the sake of trying to fit into this standard of beauty.

So there are so many real, like I said, real-life issues. But one thing that we need to know-Christ has overcome the world. One thing I've been thinking about is that when Christ was tempted by Satan, he tempted Him with vanity. Do you remember that? He tempted Him three times with vanity-the vanities of this world. And how Christ conquered was through holding fast to the Word of God.

If you've ever seen, or I should say read, The Pilgrim's Progress, which is a wonderful book. It is one of the first books that I read when I became a Christian. Do you remember how they went through. . . . Well, Pilgrim's Progress, let me just explain it for those of you who are unfamiliar, it's an allegory. It speaks about the Christian life.

And so Christian, who's the main character, he runs into all of these circumstances and we can really look at our life and see how we can relate to that. He comes to this place called Vanity, Vanity Fair. And he has to go through in order to get to the Celestial City, to get to God, to get to heaven. He has to walk through all of these circumstances and difficulties.

One of those difficulties is vanity. And the truth is, us as believers, we have to walk through vanity. Vanity Fair. It's all around us. The temptations, the lies that say we have to be what this world says we have to be. But that is not the truth, because Christ has conquered sin and death and the grave through the gospel, the good news.

Jesus Christ, He came down, condescended, came to earth, lived a perfect life that we can never live and went to the cross, bearing sin on the cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him. Praise God that we have righteousness now through Christ.

And then He sanctifies us that we are able to live out this new life to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. And He's filled us with His Holy Spirit to do this that we're not left alone so that we can do this with God's help. And that way we're able to listen to God and listen to His Word rather than listen to this world's.

And so one thing that we need to consider, the Scripture says when considering the Messiah, it says, "Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar." Now this is speaking of Jesus, and that Scripture is Isaiah 33:17. "Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty."

But yet we also see in Isaiah 53:2, Scripture says, "He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." So which is it? Are we beholding the King or did He not have any beauty? It is both, because Jesus was the most beautiful of all. But that beauty was not about His physicality.

The perfection of beauty is what we want to talk about. Beauty is essential to God. So as God creates the world, He says, "It is good." Why is it good? It's good because it pointed to Him. It pointed to the Creator. And even though we are post-fall, we are still able to marvel at even little aspects of creation.

I remember on our honeymoon as we were coming back. We went to Mexico for our honeymoon but I lived in Los Angeles. My husband lived in Washington D.C. So we had to go to Los Angeles, put all my things in a truck, and drive across country.

In that drive, we decided we were going to stop by the Grand Canyon. Now I'm talking to my husband as he was driving and I'm like . . . because the Grand Canyon was right behind him and it just took my breath away. I don't know if you've experienced the Grand Canyon, but it is amazing. And this is post-fall. But we are still able to marvel at aspects of creation even though it's a broken creation now.

The Bible says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). So in Scripture God's beauty is often synonymous with His glory.

I want to look at this Scripture. It says, "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all" (1 Chron. 29:11).

There's a quote by R.C. Sproul. It says, "Just as the normative standard for the good and for the true is God, so the ultimate standard of beauty is God." So true beauty is not in the eye of the beholder like we often hear. True beauty is found in God. God is the essence of beauty.

So what is wonderful is that God never changes. So like the superficial standards of the world, the big feet or the face tattoos, being thin, whatever the world is saying, it changes. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And His beauty, His attributes are really what defines His beauty.

God is intrinsically beautiful. And if we want to be beautiful, we have to behold God. We have to look to God, look at God, meditate on Him. And David knew this. This is why he said, "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" (Ps. 27:4). Our God is beautiful.

And another thing to consider is that our God is Spirit. So how can God, He who is Spirit, be beautiful since He cannot be seen by our human eye? Well, that's because regardless if we are able to see God or not, His essence is not contingent upon us. His beauty is not determined by man's acknowledgement of it.

God is invisible, which is an amazing thing to consider. He is the most beautiful of all, and yet He is invisible. It's so wonderful. God is beautiful. The triune God is majestic, glorious, worthy of praise and awe.

And we see many in Scripture when they enter the holy presence of our God, when they are able to just behold some of His beauty, His glory, what do they do? They fall down on their face and worship. We see this again and again. Ezekiel, Isaiah, they fall down on their face. They are in awe of our God.

Do we, like David, desire to gaze upon the beauty of God? Like Moses, do we ask God to "show me Your glory"? And am I personally? If I answer that question honestly, I'd say, "Sometimes."

Honestly. There are times when the answer is, "Yes," or "I am. I do desire to meditate upon God's beauty and His glory." But honestly there are other times when I am too impressed by this world, and I see worldliness creeping in and their definitions creeping in on my heart.

Have you noticed times when worldliness has creeped in your heart? Maybe rather than dwell on the beauty of God you spend hours looking at YouTube videos about how to do makeup, the outfit of the day, watching TV, rather than meditating upon God's truth and getting intimate with Him.

Other times when your affections for God's Word are low, how do we become women who delight in God? We must be women who love God's Word. So God has revealed Himself through the Scriptures. And the only way that we can truly know Him is by digging in and meditating upon His precepts.

It's interesting, and we look at the book of Proverbs and we look kind of throughout the whole book what it says about women. What we'll find is that there are two women that we see in Proverbs. There's this adulterous woman that we see kind of toward the beginning, and it's contrasted with the virtuous wife-the foolish woman versus the wise woman.

And it's interesting in Proverbs 6 when we look at the adulterous woman, as the mother is ministering or giving counsel to her son she says, "Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes" (v. 25). And honestly even as I have read that, I've thought, That could apply to us, too, in certain ways-that we should not be women who are given over to following the adulterous woman, the seductive woman of our culture .

That we're not captivated by this foolish woman, but rather as we read later toward the end of Proverbs that we would be this virtuous woman. And there the Scripture says, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised" (Prov. 31:30).

It's interesting that in Scripture when we see a lot of focus upon the exterior in Scripture specifically related to woman, it's usually defining or describing this adulterous, seductive woman, the worldly woman. And that's what we see, except for the Song of Solomon where you have that love relationship.

You talk about "lips dripping honey." You know, speaking about wine. There are these descriptive words related to the foolish woman. But when we come across the virtuous woman, the wise woman, we see that the focus is really internal. It's not, "Oh, man, she has these elaborate hairstyles." It's "look at what's going on in her heart."

And so I want to focus in on 1 Peter 3 so that we can look at this next Scripture. It says, "Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair, the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" (1 Pet. 3:3-4).

Well, what I just described to you, kind of the distinction between the foolish woman and the wise woman, that's really what Peter is getting at. There were these women who were seducing the men of the times, and they were focused all on the externals. What this Scripture doesn't mean is that you cannot have braids in your hair, that you can't wear any jewelry, because then that would mean that we couldn't wear any clothes.

So that's not what it means. We need to wear clothes. What it does mean is that it gives us contrast of what not to do, kind of the negative versus the positive. So we see verse 3 is the negative. These are what you don't do. This is what you don't put your attentions or your focus on. But verse 4, this is what you should focus on. Here's the positive-the adorning that is the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.

So the women in verse 3, they were spending time indulging in their vanities. They were seeking to captivate men through lust. But Peter says this is not how we are to adorn ourselves as women of God.

That word "adorning" in the Greek, it means to properly beautify, having the right arrangement. And actually the Greek word is kosmos, so you think of the arrangement of the planets. But an ordering, to adorn, to make compellingly attractive, very appealing.

In other words, do not let the sequence or the arrangement of how you define beauty to be external, primarily external. In the sequence of events, our priorities should be internal adorning. Internal adorning. And what's going on inside should work itself on the outside.

So the point here is to look at what Peter says we should be pursuing. And we're going to break this down. We're going to look at four truths about the truly beautiful woman.

One, she's focused on the heart. So truly beautiful women focus on the hidden person of the hearts. That's the inner man. We're focused on our character. And that means our desired decisions, our intentions is what we're looking at. And our heart should be to please the Lord by reflecting His beauty.

And this is when no one else sees. This is the private devotion, the private prayers, the private time in His Word asking Him to, "Search me, O God; see if there is any way in me that would not please you, God, and remove it, please. Please give me a repentant heart."

It means that we are women who spend the majority of our time not focused upon what others think of us, other people, but we're focused upon what God says of us. What does God think? So you can be in a community even, and they look at you like, "Oh, my goodness! You are just the most righteous, you are the virtuous woman." But then God is saying, "No, I know what is going on in your heart."

So we want to know, "God, who do you say I am?" And again, this comes through spending time in God's Word, because only God can reveal what's going on in our hearts. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitfully wicked above all. Who can know it?" The answer to that question is the Lord. He is the only One. And yet He can reveal it to us so that we can confess those sins and turn away from those sins.

So even if we try to pretend to be godly for other people-and I say that because that was me. For many years, saying the right things, having the right answers, but my heart was far away from God. And so if that's you, God knows your situation. You cannot hide from God. And He is able to truly make you virtuous, truly make you beautiful. And He does that by the power of His Holy Spirit.

So this heart change is the result of meditating upon the attributes of God, seeing His holiness and becoming aware of how short, how we have fallen so short of His glory. And asking God to change us.

And also, truly beautiful women, they know that beauty is imperishable. The beauty that they have is an imperishable beauty. That word for "imperishable" means having an undecaying, everlasting quality.

You know, if you are familiar with the book of 1 Peter, earlier in the book he speaks about something that's imperishable, if you remember. In chapter 1 verse 3, he says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you" (vv. 3-4).

Could it be that our imperishable beauty is part of this inheritance from God? That when we are glorified on that final day, we will truly be beautiful. No sin. Nothing keeping us separate from God. No thoughts that are sinful. No temptations. No lust. No lies. We would truly be able to walk in our beauty, completely fulfilled.

But right now, because of the resurrection, because of the reality of what Christ has accomplished for us, we actually can be beautiful now. We can focus in on this imperishable beauty, meaning that it's not of this world.

Sometimes it's hard for us to understand things that are imperishable because we are in this fallen situation here. We're used to things decaying. We're used to things getting old. But God says, "No. This beauty is imperishable. It will not fade. It will just get more and more glorious, more and more beautiful as time goes on."

Truly beautiful women, they have a gentle and meek spirit. A gentle and quiet spirit. This meekness, this quietness is an inner calmness. This is not . . . you know, you meet someone who is kind of soft spoken and you think, Oh, she's gentle and quiet. No, this is something that the Holy Spirit works in you. This is not natural. It's a tranquility; it's a peacefulness. And peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

So you can't fake this meekness or quietness. It doesn't mean you have no voice. It does not mean that. It means that your heart is before the Lord and out of the abundance of your heart the mouth is speaking. And so because peace is within you and meekness is within you and gentleness is within you, because His Spirit lives within you, that is what is able to come out.

If you remember, again, Joni mentioning about the lemon being squeezed-us being put in circumstances that squeeze us. And it's crazy because before I was married I thought, Oh, man, I am just so peaceful and patient and gentle and quiet. Right. [laughter]

I remember my first year of marriage, and there was some conflict. Now I don't even know if my husband knew about the conflict. Maybe I was the only one. But there was something I just had on my mind. I can't even remember what it was. But I was just, I just need to talk to him about this thing that I am so frustrated about.

Well, I was really fighting and trying to hold fast to the Lord. And I remember praying like, "God, help me, because I want to be slow to speak and slow to become angry and quick to listen." I remember telling the Lord, "Okay, I'm going to pray. I'm going to try something different. Rather than just vent, I'm going to go to the Lord and pray and seek His face and share with Him what's on my heart."

So I'm praying, "Dear God, this is what's going on." I'm pouring out my heart. Well, before I could say "Amen" I was like "Shai"-my husband's name. Before I could even say "Amen," I was ready to go and speak and vent, because I felt like I just have to get this off my chest.

I don't know if you've experienced that. It is amazing, because then I remember there was another time that I was fighting. I said, "I am just going to go to the Lord." And I went to the Lord, and I prayed to Him about what was going on. And I remember my husband just came and it was such a wonderful thing. It was like, "Why didn't I trust you before, Lord?"

I was so quick in my pride to say, "Oh, yes, I got this under control." But the Lord through my circumstances helped me to see, "No, you don't." And He uses my circumstances now to help me see, "No, you don't. This is why you need Me."

So praise God, He gives me victory. But I need Him every day, because my heart is prone to wander. It's prone to wander. So thank the Lord that He actually can make us gentle, can make us quiet and meek. But we have to rely upon Him moment by moment, literally. We can't say, "Yes, I did it this time. Oh yeah, I got it. I'm meek and gentle." Pride comes before a fall. But God gives grace to the humble. He really does.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on these verses, he says, "A true Christian's chief care lies in the right ordering and commanding of his own spirit. Where the hypocrite's work ends, there the true Christian's work begins. The endowments of the inner man are the chief ornaments of a Christian; but especially a composed, calm, and quiet spirit, renders either man or woman beautiful and lovely."

And it's amazing. The word for "meek" here actually is the same one that was used for Christ when He told the disciples to go get the colt for Him to ride. And Jesus says in Matthew 21:

"Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

 

"Say to the daughter of Zion,
'Behold, your king is coming to you, [and there's that word humble or meek]
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden'" (Matt. 21:2-5).

It's amazing this picture of our King choosing to ride on a donkey. Choosing to humble Himself. Are we greater than our Master? We are not greater than our Master. We humbly need God. We need His peace-the peace that only comes from God. We need His gentleness.

And God says, "He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Humility comes as we cling to God and we beg Him to change us. We ask Him to take this hardened heart and give us a heart of flesh so that we can, by His grace, reflect Him.

So, again, this woman, it's not that she doesn't have a voice. I think sometimes women think, Okay, less words. And sometimes it's good to have less words. It really is. It can be helpful.

But it means when you do speak, you open your mouth and there's truth coming out of your mouth. You're able to trust God. You're not speaking out of frustration; you're not speaking out of anxiety. But you're clinging to the Lord, and you're trusting in His sovereign hand.

A beautiful woman, she also desires what is precious to God. What is most precious to God? It's God Himself. The idea of worship is bringing, attributing worth to. Worth shipped. Worth. So God is the only One who is worthy, who's worth our praise, worth our reverence, worth our whole life. He deserves all. He reigns over all.

And so what's most precious to God is God Himself. What's most precious to a truly beautiful woman is God Himself. Since God is perfect, He deserves our worship. We know He is the One who deserves glory. So we're not trying to steal glory for our self, but we want it all to go to God, because that's where it deserves to be placed.

So rather than draw attention to us, as women who are beautiful, we draw attention to our Master. There is nothing unattractive about God. If we are ever turned off by Him, like the Scripture even mention in Isaiah 53, it's because something is wrong with us not because something is wrong with God or something is lacking in God. It's because our vision is somehow skewed by our sin. And we are often, too often, captivated by earthly treasures.

There's a Scripture in Matthew 6:19-21. It says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Ask yourself this question: Where is my treasure today, right now? What am I treasuring? Where is my heart's focus right now?

I want us to consider some questions to help us as we process through where our heart is.

Do I spend more time flipping through magazines or flipping through God's Word, reading God's Word?

How much money do I spend on clothes, cosmetics, and body treatments versus giving to the church or giving to others?

When I get dressed, is it for my own glory or the glory of God? Am I trying to draw attention to myself or draw attention to God?

Do I spend more time on fashion blogs, YouTube, or in the Word and prayer?

Do I spend the majority of my time beautifying myself outwardly or inwardly? Sometimes we can spend an hour getting ready in the morning, but we give God our leftover time. Do you know what I mean?

So really thinking through how am I spending my time. Is my desire to be beautiful rooted in wanting attention or drawing attention to God?

Carolyn Mahaney, she has a book called True Beauty, and she has this quote that I think is helpful. She says, "A glimpse of God's beauty makes all the difference in what we see when we look in the mirror. Once we see God's beauty, we will never see beauty the same way again." 

And as a matter of fact, He already knows all about it. And anything else going on in our hearts. And He has provided a way of transformation so that we can turn from these sins and turn to God and truly be this beautiful woman that the Scripture speaks of.

He's provided a way in Christ. So there's no other way to be saved but Jesus. And you may have heard this saying: Hearses don't have U-Haul trucks on the back of them. We can't take the things with us from this life, the temporal things with us when we die. What will matter then is what we should be focusing our priorities on right now.

And the things that are going to matter then are the internal things-the internal treasures that will never fade. We're going to be stripped of our achievements when we die. We're going to be stripped of our appearance and wealth and influence.

And we're going to come before God bare, exposed, naked. And eternity is a long time compared to the short time that we have here. So let's make sure we are rich toward God by storing up these eternal treasures that don't rust or fade.

So I want us to just remind ourselves that we are not to look to the magazines, the blogs, the websites to define our definition of beauty, to let us know who we should be or who we are. We have to look to God's Word and be delighted in God. And He's the One who's spoken through His Word, the Bible, regarding our identity. Jesus deals with our greatest need, and it's not a new lip color, really. But it's a new heart.

The Scripture in Psalm 96:6, as we close. It says, "Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary." May we be women who desire God's beauty and desire to reflect that to this world. Amen?

I hope the time was helpful. I'm going to pray. We have about fifteen minutes. If anyone has any questions, I would be willing to either accept questions. We can do Q and A, or if ladies want to talk to me afterward about anything, I'm going to be here. So I would love to talk to you.

Let me pray.

Our gracious God, thank You so much that You are the perfection of beauty, that You are the One who is truly beautiful. And I thank You so much that You have knitted us together with You, Father, through Christ, that we do not have to be a slave to this world and this world's definition of who we should be. But we have new life. But we've been given a new identity through Christ.

And I pray that we would desire the things that are truly beautiful; that You would make us women who are gentle and quiet in our heart and in our spirit, Father; that we would pursue that unfading beauty, Father. I pray that You would do this and You would be glorified, to transform us from glory to glory as we behold Your glory. That You'd be honored to do this, I pray in Jesus' Name, amen.

Amen. Thank you, ladies.