Friday, February 25, 2011

Whatever is Lovely

On Fridays my friend Melissa and I are exploring True Beauty through a series of letters. Join us as we explore Beauty in our lives. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dearest Julia,

Truth is an elusive thing, but not because it is hidden. No, truth is found where it can be plainly seen—

In the word of God,

In studying the nature of things,

In the knitting of things unseen in a womb.

Yes, truth is easily found.

Yet, truth is still elusive in the physical moment it’s needed.

You and I (and probably most women) are prime examples of this elusive truth phenomenon. We know that God created women beautiful. We read it in the Word, we see it in the women around us, we hear it from our husband’s lips.

Somehow in the physical moment of looking in the mirror,

or the moment we open a magazine,

or the moment we enter a swimming pool

the truth, the belief in the known fact that women are beautiful, suddenly becomes elusive. We cannot recall the truth the moment we’re asked to live it.

So what can we do to keep the truth that we were skillfully and beautifully knitted in perfect focus so that we can really live out the implications?

I think you hit on one answer to this question last week: We can place truth in visible places around our homes.

Tape it to our cabinets.

Stencil it to our bedroom walls.

Write it with a dry erase marker on our bathroom mirrors.

Hang art prints above our mantels.

Place sticky notes on our rear view mirrors.

Daily seeing this truth that God’s Beauty resides in us keeps the truth at the forefront of our minds. Therefore, when we’re tempted to deny the truth or act as if it’s not true, we’re able to quickly recall the truth our eyes have soaked on. We’re training ourselves to think and act on the truth.

You know training, Julia. You rise two mornings a week, long before the sun, to attend Boot Camp. You train your body to be strong. But if training your body to be strong is so important, how much more important must it be to train our minds to believe and act upon truth?

Philippians 4:8 give us one way to train our minds:

“Finally, brethren, what ever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

So how can we make that verse practical? How do we train ourselves to dwell, to think constantly, on this pure, lovely, and excellent truth?

You’ve already taught us one: write it on the door frames.

But what are some other ways that we can soak on the truth that beauty resides in us?

1. Memorize Scripture Truth. Committing scripture to memory changes your perspective in those moments you’re tempted to act or respond like truth isn’t real. It also lets you minister to others, giving hope in a moment of need. You won’t need to carry the Bible when its Words are already hidden in your heart. Amy’s recent post has a concise list of some of the scriptures regarding beauty.

2. Talk about Truth. How often is our talk with other women idle? We gossip or we talk about a great product or a fabulous sale. This talk profits our hearts nothing. When we share what we are learning we build up each others' hearts. We challenge each other to grow to be more like Christ.

3. Say Thank You. First, say thank you to God that He made you beautiful. Then, say thank you humbly each time your husband (or a friend) states this truth. Don’t argue, don’t blaspheme, just express humble gratitude.

4. Celebrate. Yes, celebrate that first time you successfully recite that verse. Celebrate that lovely conversation you had with a friend. Celebrate that moment you first said “Thank you” to your husband rather than denying the truth that he so lovingly points out. Call a friend and celebrate verbally. Give yourself a pedicure or a chocolate kiss. Make a big check mark on a list. Celebrate each grace-filled triumph; celebration keeps motivation high. Celebration caused joy to abound.


Andrea said...

Thank you for this post! It's so positive and BEAUTIFUL.

Melissa Ann said...

Thank you! And you're welcome :)

Twinside Out said...

Number 3 (saying thank you) is a big hurdle for me. It's difficult for me to accept a compliment without arguing. Definitely something to work on.

And oh, how important to memorize Scripture! When I am digging in the Word and committing it to memory, my life is transformed in so many ways.

Thank you so much for these posts on beauty! They are such an encouragement to me, and they challenge me to seek out God's opinion of me (instead of dwelling on my own).

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Thaank you for this post... I needed it today.


Melissa Ann said...

Thank you! And you're welcome :)

Andrea said...

Thank you for this post! It's so positive and BEAUTIFUL.